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NVPi RESEARCH LIBRARIES
3 3433 08189104
I 7 1
Digitized byrVj U^^-^X ^^
Colonel G. J. FIEBEGER
Professor of Engineering, U. S. Ailitory Academy
WEST POINT. N. Y.
U. S. Ailitory Academy Printing Office
l^' Digitized by Google
o. x I ^
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE— Born at Ajaccio, island of Corsica,
August 15th, 1768; died on«th€ island of Saint Helena, off the coast of
Africa, May 5th, 1821. Student in military schools April 23rd, 1779 to 1785;
second lieutenant 1785 to 1791; first lieutenant 1791 to 1792; general of
brigade 1793; general of division and army commander 1795; consul and
first consul 1799; first consul for life 1802; emperor 1804; abdicated 1814;
reascended throne and abdicated 1815.
He entered the military school of Brienne, France, April 23rd, 1779,
from which he passed to the military school of Paris, October 8th, 1783.
Was graduated and assigned to the Artillery, September 1st, 1785. Entered
artillery school of Valence, October, 1785, and remained until August 12th,
1786. Served with his regiment of La Fere, at Lyons and Douai until Jan-
uary, 1787, when he went to Corsica on leave. Returned to France and
joined his regiment at Auxonne, May, 1788. In September, 1789,
he returned to Corsica on leave. Rejoined his regiment at
Auxonne, June, 1790, and remained with it until April, 1791, when he was,
as first lieutenant, assigned to the artillery regiment of Grenoble, stationed
at Valence. In October, 1791, he again visited Corsica on leave. Here he
became adjutant and later lieutenant colonel of a volunteer battalion, but
still held his rank in the regular army in which he became junior captain
January 14th, 1792, and senior captain March 8th, 1793. He remained ia
Corsica until June, 1793, when he rejoined his regiment, then belonging
to the Army of Italy, at Nice. Upon the revolt at Toulon, he went to Paris,
asked for, and received from the Committee of Public Safety, the provi-
sional command of the artillery of the besieging army, which he assumed
September, 1793. On November 21st, he became by seniority, the junior
major of his regiment, but after the fall of Toulon the representatives of
the government with the army nominated him brigadier general, for his
valuable services in the siege. He was confirmed January 7th, 1794.
He was assigned as Chief of Artillery of the Army of Italy, and the
coast batteries from the Rhone to the Var. He remained with the Army
of Italy until April, 1795, and planned operations by which that army
advanced by successive steps from Nice to Savona. He went on leave in
April, and during a reorganization of the army was placed on waiting
orders. Having declined a brigade in the Army of the West he was, in
September, 1795, attached to the War Department and assigned to that
branch of the topographic department, which had charge of the prepara-
tion of plans of campaigns for the armies of the Alps and of Italy.
While on this duty, on October 5th, he was selected by General Bar-
ras as his second in command of the Army of the Interior to defend the
central government against the attacks of the sections of Paris. His dis-
positions for meeting the attack were so skillful that the sections were
easily repulsed. When Barras gave up the command of the Army of the
Interior to become a member of the Directory, General Bonaparte was
made general of division Oct. 20, 1795, and appointed commander in chief
of that army.
On February 23rd he was assigned to the command of the Army of
Italy because of his service to the government^ in Paris, and because of the
great strategie ability displayed in the memoirs he had prepared for the
operations of the armies of the Alps and Italy.
The principal campaigns planned and directed by him in person were:
1. The campaign from April, 1796, to April, 1797, against first, the Aus-
trian and Sardinian armies later, against the Austrian army. The prin-
cipal battles of this campaign were those of Montenotte^ Dego^ Millesimo^
Mondovij Lodi, LonaiOy Castiglione^ BassanOy Arcole and Rivoli,
2. The campaign in Egypt from May, 1798, when he sailed with a corps
of 30,000 men from Toulon, until October, 1799, when he returned to France
with a few of his principal generals. He landed at ^/^^an^rt a, occupied
Cairo and, with a division of 12,000, marched into Syria as far as Acre.
He was unsuccessful in the siege of that town because his siege artillery
sent by sea, was captured by the British fleet.
3. The campaign of 1800, against the Austrians, in which he personally
directed the operations of the Reserve Army. He crossed the Alps over
the Great St. Bernard pass in May, and in June defeated General Melas,
in the decisive battle of Marengo. After this he turned over the command
of the army to Massena.
4. The campaign from, August to December, 1805, against the Austrians
and Russians; in this he commanded the Grand Army, organized in 1803
and 1804. He crossed the Rhine toward the end of September and a month
later forced the surrender of the Austrian army, under General Mack, at
Ulm. He then moved through Vienna into Moravia and defeated the com-
bined Austro^Russian army in the decisive battle of Austerlitz^ December
5. The campaign of 1806 against the Prussians. The Grand Army, which
had been encamped in the South GermcCn states, was concentrated in
northern Bavaria about the 1st of October and on the 14th decisively de-
feated the Prussians in the battles of Jena and Auerstaedt. Napoleon
commanded in the former, and Davout in the latter. He then moved
rapidly on Berlin and cut off the retreat of all the Prussians, west of the
6. The campaign of 1806-1807 against the Russians. After the destruc-
tion of the Prussian army, he advanced to the Vistula to seek the Russians.
In the vicinity of Warsaw he fought the indecisive battles of Pultusk and
Golymin, about the last of December, 1806. The war was then transferred
to East Prussia, where he fought the indecisive battle of Eylau in Febru-
ary, 1807. Finally, in June, 1807, he defeated the Russian general, Ben-
ningsen in the decisive battle of Friedland.
The war in Spain and Portugal, which followed, lasted from November,
1807, when Marshal Junoi marched across the mountains to Lisbon, until
the spring of 1814 when Wellington crossed the frontier near Bayonne,
about the time Paris was captured by the allies. In this war, which ab-
sorbed a large part of the Grand Army, Napoleon was in the field but a
short time, from November, 1808, to January, 1809. His operations were
successful, but not decisive. During the remainder of the time the opera-
tions were conducted by his principal marshals, Massena, Marmont, Ney
7. The campaign of 1809 against Austria. He defeated Archduke Charles
at Eckmuhl near Ratisbon in April, captured that town and then moved
along the south bank of the Danube to Vienna. In this vicinity he forced
a crossing at the island of Lobau and fought the battle of Aspen^ or ^^-
slingy May 22nd. Too weak to advance, he retired to his island, and
awaited reinforcements. In July he again crossed in face of the enemy and
won the decisive battle of Wagram^ followed by that of Znaim.
8. The campaign of 1812 against Russia. For this campaign, he assem-
bled an army of 450,000 men, of whom about one-half were French^ and
the remainder contingents from Austria, Prussia , Saxony j Italy and the
smaller German states. His front of operations, at the beginning of hos-
tilities, extended from Riga on the north to Galiciaon the south, a dis-
tance of 400 miles. At the termination of his advance movement, his cen-
ter had advanced to Moscow, 600 miles from the Prussian frontier. He
crossed the Nieman river with his main body in the vicinity of Kovno,
June 24th, and reached Moscow on September 15th, successfully, but not
decisively, defeating the Russians at Smolensk and at Borodino, His army
was now scattered over an immense territory; about 90,000 were at Mos-
cow; 30,000 Prussians near the mouth of the Dwina river; 50,000 Aus-
trians and Saxons in Poland and the remainder of his army between
these corps and Moscow, His whole army had been largely diminished in
strength by the difficulty of supplying it in a country, which was sparcely
inhabited and traversed only by very poor roads. After remaining in
Moscow a month, he was obliged to retreat before the winter weather
rendered the roads absolutely impassable. The famous retreat bfigan about
the 20th of October, and early in November severe winter weather set in.
Without provisions or suitable clothing, harassed by the Russians, and
suffering from the inclement weather, the army was rapidly transformed
into a mob of fugitives without formation or discipline^ As the horses
were the first to suffer from the famine, the troopers soon joined their
companions on foot and the gunners abandoned their pieces. When the
^rmy at last reached the Nieman, there was only a rear guard of about
5,000 men, over half of whom were officers, under arms to check the pur-
suit The Russians had, however, suffered nearly as much as the French
from the weather and lack of supplies and were in no condition to pursue
9. The campaign of 1813 against the allies. As a result of 1812, the
Prussians allied themselves with the Russians, who invaded East Prussia,
while the remnant of the French armj/ gathered its detachments in Ger-
many and retired to Magdeburg. Napoleon raised a new army in France
and marched through south Germany to Dresden winning en route the
battles of Weissenfels and Gros Gorschen. In the spring the allied army
had approached the Elbe, but was forced by Napoleon to the Oder after
its defeat at Bautzen; an armistice followed. In August, when hostilities
were renewed, Austria and Sweden joined the allies. In September Na-
poleon defeated the allies in the indecisive battle of Dresden ^ but was
himself decisively defeated by the allies in October at Leipsic and com-
pelled to fall back to the Rhine. In this campaign he was much embar-
assed by the action of his Saxon and other allies, who deserted him at crit-
10. The campaign of 1814, for the defense of France. About the 1st of
January the allies were moving upon Paris with three armies. The south-
ern army moved from Belfort and Strasburg; the central one from the
vicinity of Metz and the northern one through Holland. The left and
center were the main armies and were to unite along the line Chalons-
Troyes and together advance on Paris. These armies numbered together
about 200,000, that in Holland 60,000, while Napoleon had but 100,000 all
told. By maneuvering in the space between the Aisne and 6^««^ rivers,
between Paris and Chalons, he succeeded in separating and checking the cen-
ter and left columns of the allies until reinforced by the right. His thin line
wfiks finally broken and Paris capitulated March 29th. A week later he abdi-
cated. The principal battles of this campaign were Brienne, Roihiere^
Champaubert, Mqntmirail^ Vauckamps, Etoges, Mormont^ Montereau,
Craonne^ Laon^ Champenoise, and Monttnartre,
11. The campaign of 1815 in Belgium. Napoleon returned from Elba March
20th, 1815, and by June had organized an army of 200,000 men. The allies organ-
ized an army of 220,000 men in Belgium; of whom 100,000 were command-
ed by IVellington and the remainder by Blucher; 150,000 on the middle
Rhine; 23Cr,000 on the upper Rhine; and 60,000 on the Sardinian frontier.
Napoleon concentrated an army of 120,000 in northeastern France to oper-
ate against Wellington and Blucher, and divided his other forces into small
corps to act defensively against the heads of the other columns. About
the beginning of June he marched against IVellingtonBud Blucher, who
were separated, to get in between them and defeat them in detail. He
was at first successful at Quartre Bras and Ligny and compelled them to
retreat on what he believed were divergent lines. He pursued Wellington
with his main body and found him in a strong defensive position at Water-
loo, He attacked him, and had gained but little success, when
the approach of the Prussians on his fiank turned what might have been
an indecisive battle into a decisive defeat and rout. Unknown to Napo-
leoH, Blucher had retreated along a line which led towards Waterloo and
was thus able to assist Wellington, while the force sent by Napoleon in
pursuit of Blucher, never reached the field. This battle ended Napoleon's
Napoleon abdicated a second time June 21st and shortly thereafter sur-
rendered to the British fleet. He was sent by the British to Saint Helena,
where he died.
Until he became emperor. May, 1804, he was known as and signed
himself, ^^«a/tfr/^/ after that he was known as, and signed himself.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
CAMPAIGNS OF 1796 AND 1797 IN ITALY.
NAPOLEON AND BEAULIEU.
POLITICAL SITUATION,— In 1792, Italy was divided into
the kingdom of Sardinia with its provinces of Savoy, Nice, Pied-
mont and Sardinia; the republics of Genoa and Venice; the duchies
of Parma, Modena and Tuscany; the Austrian province of Milan;
the Papal states; and the kingdom of Naples.
In 1796, Austria, Sardinia and Naples were at war with France.
The dukes of Parma and Modena were under the influence of
Austria. Because of the violence of the French Revolution, the
rulers of the other states, although not actively hostile to France,*
were not friendly. In all these states there was a middle class of
active French sympathizers.
TOPOGRAPHIC SITUATION,— The Maritime Alps and the
Apennine mountain ranges separate the narrow strip of territory
along the Mediterranean, called the Riviera, from the basin of
the Po River. The two ranges are separated by a saddle on the
road from Savona to Cairo whose elevation is only 1,600 feet. All
roads and trails crossing the Apennines from Savona, Voltri and
Genoa reach an elevation of 2,500 feet. The Maritime Alps
increase in elevation from Savona westward and at Col de Tenda
the road crossing the mountains reaches an elevation of 6,00d feet.
The Riviera about Nice belonged to the kingdom of Sardinia;
east of this it belonged to Genoa.
South of the mountains, all the important towns are on the
coast and are connected by the road from Nice to Genoa, 125
miles. This road was in bad condition and the French depended
largely upon water transportation exposed to capture by the
British fleet. This road was later improved by Napoleon and
became the famous Corniche road. All the coast towns had small
North of the mountains, the Sardinians had the fortified towns
of Coni, Mondovi, Ceva, Dego, Acqui, Alessandria, Tortona and
Novi. The shortest road connecting these towns follows the east
branch of the Bormida River and near Cairo passes within nine
miles of Savona. The principal roads connecting the coast with
the Po valley were those connecting Nice and Coni; Oneglia and
Albenga with Ceva; Finale and Cairo; Savona and Cairo; Savona
and Sassello; Voltri and Novi; G^noa and Novi.
MIUTARY SITUATION.— The war of the French with the
first coalition began in 1792. In that year, French troops invaded
the Sardinian provinces of Savoy and Nice and these provinces
were declared annexed to France. The invading force in Savoy
jDecame the Army of the Alps and that in Nice became the Army
In June 1793, the Army of Italy attacked the Sardinian army
intrenched in the foothills of the Alps between Nice and Tenda
and was repulsed. It then retired to the Var and from August to
December was engaged in the siege of the insurgent fortified town
of Toulon which had opened its harbor to the British fleet. It
was here that Napoleon first joined the Army of Italy, as a captain
of artillery. It was by following a plan suggested by Napoleon
that the town was finally taken; as reward he was promoted to
general of brigade in the artillery.
In 1794, the French drove the Sardinians beyond the Col de
Tenda and occupied the territory of the republic of (Jenoa as far
east as Savona. This year Napoleon served in the army as chief
of artillery and became thbroughly familiar with the mountain
passes as far east as Genoa. He also suggested some of the plans
to which the success of the French was due.
In April 1795, Napoleon was relieved and placed on waiting
orders. In June, the French were driven out of Savona by the
Austrians but in November they retook the town and drove the
Austrians back over the mountains.
In September, Napoleon was assigned to that bureau of the
War Department which dealt with the operations of the field
armies; he submitted various memoirs on proposed operations
of the Army of Italy and drew up instructions for the army com-
mander. In October, he won the gratitude of the government by
dispersing a Paris mob which threatened the national convention.
In March 1796, when Gen. Scherer — ^the fifth commander of
the Army of Italy since its organization — ^requested to be relieved.
Napoleon was appointed to succeed him.
FRENCH ARMY.— When Napoleon took command of the
Army of Italy there were in his territorial department, which
extended from Savona in Italy to the mouth of the Rhone River
in France, about 60,000 men present for duty and nearly 25,000
sick in the hospitals.
On April 6, he reported his disposable field troops as 45,000 men.
This agrees with his returns which show about 43,000 men present
in the field army and 2,000 en route to join it.
(Jen. Laharpe's infantry division of three brigades formed the
outpost line covering Savona. One brigade was on the (Jenoa
road at Voltri with an outpost at Pegli. It was sent to this point
by the government commissioner with the army who wished to
intimidate the Genoese and enable the French to purchase supplies
in Genoa. One brigade was guarding the mountain passes on the
roads from Savona to Sassello and neighboring points; this brigade
had a strong outpost at Monte Legino and another at Veraggio.
One brigade was in the moimtains on the road between Savona
(Jen. Meynier's infantry division of two brigades was in reserve
in the vicinity of Savona.
(Jen. Augereau's infantry division of three brigades was at
Finale and Loano with strong outposts in the mountains. One
brigade was guarding each road and one in reserve.
Gen. Serurier's infantry division of two brigades was at Ormea
and Garessio in the Tanaro valley.
These ten brigades had an average strength of 3,600 men or a
total of about 36,000 men.
The divisions of Laharpe and Meynier — 18,000 men — ^formed
an advance guard under the command of Gen. Massena stationed
There were two divisions whose combined strength was but
7,000 men, guarding the Col de Tenda and the passes near the
sources of the Var River where the mountains were still covered
The cavalry of the army — 4,500 men — ^under Gen. Stengel was
on its way from southern France where it had spent the winter.
It had not all joined.
Napoleon took command at Nice, the department headquarters,
March 26, and remained there five days ordering up supplies and
troops. On April 5, he was at Albenga where he remained five
days more inspecting the troops in the vicinity and organizing his
transportation. While here, he learned that the Austrians were
advancing through Bochetta Pass and on Sassello and Dego. He
made no change in the disposition of his troops, but cautioned
his division commanders to be ready to move at a moment's notice,
with a full supply of ammunition.
ALLIED ARMY. — The allied army opposed to Napoleon was
composed of 32,000 Austrians and 17,000 Sardinians. Gen.
Beaulieu, who had just arrived from the Rhine, was in command,
though he really exercised command only over the left wing com-
posed of the Austrian corps of Generals Argenteau and Sebotten-
dorf — each 14,000 men. The right wing, composed of 17,000
Sardinians and 4,000 Austrians, was under the Austrian general,
Colli, who had been attached to the Sardinian army since 1793.
Argenteau's corps had spent the winter near Alessandria, Acqui
and Tortona; Sebottendorf's corps at Pavia and other points in
the province of Milan. Argenteau had five brigades of infantry;
Sebbottendorf, three brigades of infantry and two of cavalry;
each infantry brigade numbered about 3,000 men.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
Colli's troops extended from Coni to Dego. The greater part
of his force was on his right at Coni and Mondovi guarding the
direct road from Nice to Turin; two battalions only were at Dego.
Provera's Austrian brigade was near Millesimo.
There was also a strong Sardinian force guarding the mountain
passes between Piedmont and Savoy, from Lake Geneva to Coni.
It was threatened by the Army of the Alps under Kellerman
In a letter to the Directory, April 6, Napoleon estimates the
Austrian army as 34,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, and the
Sardinian army as 45,000. This latter estimate includes the force
in front of Kellerman, which Napoleon thought he might be com-
pelled to meet should he advance on Turin.
In numerical strength the two armies actually opposed to each
other were approximately equal. The French army had the advan-
tage of position, unless the allies concentrated near Cairo. The
French army also had the advantage of a single commander who
was familiar with the coimtry and had been for two years studying
his problem. The allies had two almost independent commanders,
the senior of whom was unfamiliar with the topography of the
country and had had no time to make a thorough study of past
operations in this territory.
PLANS. — The aim of the French government had for some
time been to destroy the alliance between Sardinia and Austria.
As France was unwilling to restore to Sardinia the provinces of
Nice and Savoy, this could only be effected by a decisive victory
over the Sardinian troops. Napoleon's predecessor — Gen. Scherer
— ^had been repeatedly directed to attack the Sardinian left flank
near Ceva, but in his opinion the condition of the army did not
warrant such a movement. It was difficult to subsist the Army of
Italy because of its position and the wretched condition of the
French system of administration and supply. The army had not
been paid and its supply of clothing, arms, ammunition and equip-
ment were very defective. Napoleon had been able to partially
remedy some of these defects, but he knew that his only ultimate
hope lay in crossing the mountains and living on the enemy's terri-
tory. He thoroughly understood the policy of his government
and that while Austria was the real enemy to be defeated it was
very desirable to detach Sardinia from the alliance.
Beaulieu was directed by his government to confer with Colli
and decide on an aggressive campaign.
At a conference between the allied commanders, Colli advocated
a concentration at Cairo; but no definite plan was agreed upon.
Without informing Colli, Beaulieu later decided to attack the
French force at Voltri, by moving two mixed brigades — ^7,500
men — ^in two columns from Novi; one via Bochetta Pass and the
other via Campofredda.
At the same time, Argenteau was to move from Acqui on Savona
with 8,000 men.
Beaulieu would thus cut off Napoleon's supplies from Genoa
and might compel him to evacuate Savona. He assumed that
Napoleon would, like most of his predecessors, remain on the
defensive as his army could hardly be in a condition to take the
CAMPAIGN. — ^As early as April 5, Massena learned of the
approach of the Austrians on the roads to Genoa, Voltri, Sassello
and Dego. As Napoleon gave him no orders, he strengthened the
brigade at Voltri and the post on Monte Legino.
April 10. — On the afternoon of April 10, Beaulieu attacked the
French force at Voltri. As the French were expecting him, they
made a good defense and with little loss retired that night towards
Argenteau was expected to attack Monte Legino and the French
posts, if any, on the Sassello road, but as his troops were not in
position he deferred the attack to the following day.
April 11. — Beaulieu remained at Voltri, April 11, awaiting a
report from Argenteau. Argenteau advanced with a force of
3,500 to 4,000 men on the Montenotte road to Monte Legino, sent
a brigade on the Sassello road and posted two battalions near
Montenotte to protect his communications. He made three
unsuccessful assaults on the French force advantageously placed
on Monte Legino. This force was orginally 1,100 men but was
reinforced to 1,500 during the day. That night, Argenteau biv-
ouacked near Montenotte in front of the French works and sent
to Dego for two guns as he had no artillery. The Austrian brigade
at Sassello was not engaged.
Napoleon was at Savona this day and learned from his aide^
Marmont — the particulars of the attack at Voltri, and that the
French troops had retreated. He also learned from the chief of
brigade — Rampon — ^that the Austrians had made several assaults
on Monte Legino and, although repulsed, they still remained in
his front. He at once sent Rampon a reinforcement of 700 men
and four guns and directed him to hold on until he could be further
That night he issued the following orders: — Laharpe with two
of his brigades to move on Monte Legino and attack Argenteau
in the morning; Massena with Laharpe's third brigade to move
along the crest of the mountains to Montenotte and get in Argen-
teau's rear; Meynier to move with his two brigades to Carcare;
Augereau to leave one brigade at Bardinetto to report to Serurier,
and with the other two to move on Carcare. Meynier and Auger-
eau were to prevent Colli from sending any troops eastwards;
Serurier was directed to keep Colli busy at Ceva without compro-
mising his own troops.
April 12. — Beaulieu, becoming uneasy, started a brigade for
Sassello to secure contact with Argenteau. The latter was attacked
on the morning of the 12th near Montenotte by Laharpe, defeated,
and pursued towards Acqui. The battalions he had posted to
cover his line of retreat were defeated by Massena who struck
them in succession and they retreated towards Dego. Massena
then marched to Cairo.
Napoleon spent the day at Altare on the Savona-Carcare road
but established his headquarters at Cairo that night.
April 13. — Beaulieu, informed of Argenteau's defeat, withdrew
from Voltri in order to reach Acqui and cover his line of retreat.
Augereau, with Meynier's division and part of his own, attacked
Gen. Provera who was on the ridge east of MiUesimo with 4,000
men. Provera was defeated and while his main body retreated
towards Ceva, Provera himself with about 1,000 men took refuge
in the ruined castle of Cossaria, perched on a high hill. Napoleon
was with Augereau and directed several unsuccessful assaults on
this work. Towards evening he returned to Cairo leaving Auger-
eau to invest the castle.
Massena reconnoitered Dego and Laharpe joined him at Cairo
during the day.
April 14. — ^Augereau called on Provera to surrender, which the
latter was compelled to do early in the morning of the 14th, as
his men were without food, water or ammunition.
Meynier now reported to Massena at Cairo with one brigade.
With Laharpe's division and Meynier's brigade Massena attacked
and captured Dego. The Austrians who escaped fled to Acqui;
Meynier's brigade was left to hold Dego and Laharpe was ordered
to cooperate with Augereau on the 15th.
Knowing that Beaulieu could not assume the offensive with
his two Austrian corps. Napoleon decided to capture Ceva if
April 15. — ^Arg^iteau's brigade at Sassello had not been engaged
but also retired to Acqui. The brigade sent by Beaulieu to Sassello
reached there after Argenteau's command had been defeated and
the French had gone to Cairo. This brigade moved through
Montenotte to Dego and reached there early on the morning of
The troops of Meynier's brigade were out of hand on the morn-
ing of the 15th being engaged in looting the town. The Austrians
without much difficulty retook the town and the French fled to
Napoleon at once recalled Laharpe, and in the afternoon of the
same day the divisions of Laharpe and Meynier, under the
supervision of Massena, recaptured the town. The Austrians
fled to Acqui.
Napoleon now became uneasy about Savona in which he had
left a small garrison, and ordered Laharpe to march to Sassello
the following day to ascertain if any Austrians were marching
Massena took temporary command of Meynier's division as
the latter was ill.
April 16. — Laharpe went to Sassello while Massena remained
near Dego. Augereau attacked Colli at Montezemolo and was
repulsed. That night Colli fearing that Serurier, who was advan-
cing, would attack him in rear, retired to the Corsaglia River
leaving a garrison in the citadel of Ceva.
April 17. — ^Laharpe returned to Dego and reported that there
were no Austrians in the mountains. Massena was then sent to
San Benedetto on the Belbo to guard that flank, while Augereau
and Serurier deployed in front of CoUi's position on the Corsaglia.
April 18. — Serurier and Augereau made an unsuccessful attack
on Colli on the Corsaglia River.
April 19. — Leaving a battaUon at Dego, Laharpe moved to
San Benedetto while Massena moved into the attacking line in
front of Colli. Augereau moved down the river to cross and attack
Colli in flank.
Without waiting another attack. Colli fell back to Mondovi.
April 20. — ^After a desperate battle. Colli was defeated by
Massena and Serurier at Mondovi. Augereau remained behind
the Corsaglia and Laharpe at San Benedetto.
Armistice of Cherasco. — ^After the battle of Mondovi, Napo-
leon moved rapidly to the Stura River to threaten an advance
on Turin. On April 23, Colli requested an armistice. Napoleon
consented, provided it was preliminary to peace and the fortresses
of Coni, Ceva and Tortona were at once surrendered to him.
These conditions being accepted, there was no more fighting
between the Sardinians and the French, and on April 28, the arm-
istice was signed and the Sardinians deserted their allies. Besides
the three fortresses mentioned the French were to occupy the
country limited on the north by the Stura River to Cherasco, the
Tanaro River to the Po, and the Po to Parma. They were to use
the road via Coni, Ceva, Acqui and Tortona as their line of com-
munication through Sardinia under the protection of Sardinian
Until the evacuation of Ceva, Napoleon was worried about his
communications which ran through Savona. After the road
through Ceva to Ormea was opened, Savona became of small
When the campaign closed, Laharpe was at San Benedetto,
Augereau at Alba, Massena at Cherasco, Serurier at Fossano and
the Col de Tenda brigades were marching on Coni.
It will be observed that on April 21, ten days after Beaulieu's
attack on Acqui, Napoleon had solved the first part of his problem
by defeating the Sardinians to such an extent that they were
willing to desert their allies.
1. A French army that occupies the crest of the Apennines
covers the Riviera as far as Genoa; but since the army is only
two to five leagues distant from the sea, its line can be penetrated
in a single day. It would then find itself imable to rally to make
its retreat. On account of its little depth, this field of operations
is bad and even dangerous.
Had Beaulieu studied the topographic features, he would not
have marched on Voltri to cover Genoa, but would have concen-
trated his army at Acqui and Cairo. From those places he could
have advanced in three strong columns of 15,000 each; the left by
Montenotte and Savona, the right over the mountains to Finale.
The French would have been obliged to fall back from Genoa and
Voltri to guard the points attacked. The Austrian general would
have operated on groimd wholly to his advantage, since he could
in a single day cut the French army in two, force it back on the
sea and ruin it.
2. After the battle of Montenotte, the Austrians were compelled
to rally near Acqui; the Sardinians should at once have moved to
Dego to form their right wing. It was an error to assume that to
protect Turin it was necessary for them to remain on the direct
road to that place. If the two armies had assembled at Dego,
they would have thoroughly covered Turin since they would have
been on the flank of the road leading to that capital. Had Beaulieu
had a few days to rally his troops, it would have been still better
to concentrate the armies at Ceva, since then they would have
been near the French line of communications. With a strong
allied army at Ceva, the French would not have dared to invade
Milan. Combined, the two armies were stronger than the French;
separated, they were lost.
3. When the French army united to attack Colli, Laharpe was
left to watch Beaulieu who was rallying his army at Acqui. Appar-
ently the natural position for this corps was Dego, on the direct
line to Savona. Napoleon preferred San Benedetto, farther from
Acqui than Dego. From San Benedetto, Laharpe could support
the main French army, if necessary, and also take Beaulieu in
flank and rear if he decided to advance. It must be observed
that at this time the road through Ormea was open to the French
and that the road through Savona was not their only line of com-
4. At Mondovi the divisions of Massena and Serurier only made
the attack. This was to leave Augereau on the same side of the
Corsaglia River as Laharpe in order to support him should he be
attacked by Beaulieu.
CAMPAIGN CONTINUED.— After the armistice with the
Sardinians, Napoleon placed French garrisons in Coni, Ceva and
Mondovi, and prepared to move against Beaulieu before the latter
should recover from his defeat.
He reorganized his army and endeavored to bring it imder dis-
cipline. As the troops were illy clad, without pay, and on half
rations when he took command, he had been rather lenient to
infractions in discipline and at Dego and Mondovi suffered partial
reverses because of desertions of men from their commands to
loot. By requisitions on the conquered country, he now clothed,
fed, and paid his army, as well as his defective system of supply
would permit, and issued strict orders against looting. This evil
was never entirely eradicated.
Gen. Meynier having been assigned to the command of the
fortress of Tortona, Gen. Massena assumed permanent command
of his division. A new advance guard was organized by forming
three battalions of the grenadiers and attaching to them a brigade
of four regiments of cavalry. This was commanded by Dalle-
magne, who had reported from the Col de Tenda division. Gen.
Stengel having been killed at Mondovi, Gen. Kilmaine became
chief of cavalry. With reinforcements received from Col de Tenda
and the soldiers returning to their commands from the hospitals,
etc.. Napoleon now had a field army of 45,000 men, of whom 5,000
were assigned as garrisons of the Sardinian fortresses.
The Sardinians having withdrawn from the alliance. Gen.
Beaulieu retired from Acqui, captured the fortified town of Valenza
from his former allies, and crossed to the north bank of the Po.
Napoleon had inserted a secret clause in the armistice of Cherasco
giving the French the right to cross the Po at Valenza, which was
probably communicated to Beaulieu.
Napoleon now decided to cross the Po at Piacenza by surprise.
To this end, on May 1, he ordered his advance guard, his cavalry
and Laharpe to Tortona via Acqui. Augereau and Massena were
ordered to follow as soon as the roads were clear. Serurier was to
move down the north bank of the Tanaro to a point opposite
Valenza, to deceive Beaulieu.
On May 5, the advance guard was near Montebello, the cavahy,
Laharpe, Augereau and Massena close behind.
On May 6, active operations began and on the 7th the advance
guard, the cavahy, and Laharpe reached the vicinity of Piacenza
where, by means of boats and a flying bridge, they crossed the
river as rapidly as possible and drove away an Austrian cavalry
patrol that was guarding the river bank.
The French at once intrenched themselves on the north bank,
and when a force of 5,000 Austrians moved down from Pavia to
attack them, they were enabled to defeat the Austrians and drive
them in the direction of Pizzighittone. In these operations Gen.
Laharpe was accidentally killed by his own men.
Augereau f oimd a ferry above Piacenza that was not guarded
and crossed at that point. Massena crossed at Piacenza after La-
harpe, but was not on the north bank until the morning of the 9th.
That day the divisions of Massena and Augereau, preceded by
the advance guard and cavahy, moved towards Lodi to intercept
Beaulieu, who was retreating via Pavia and Lodi. Laharpe's
division remained in position watching the Austrians at Pizzi-
On May 10, the French troops reached Lodi and foimd that
Beauheu had crossed the Adda to the east bank leaving a battalion
in the town. This battalion crossed the river as soon as the French
appeared. The wooden bridge, 250 yards long, had not been
destroyed; but a rear guard — ^twelve battalions and fourteen guns
— ^had been left by Beaulieu to defend it. Beaulieu himself had
followed the Adda southwards to Cremona.
Napoleon at once established a number of guns on the west
bank at Lodi and the greater part of the day was spent in a harm-
less artillery duel. Late in the afternoon Napoleon decided to
storm the bridge, but first sent his cavalry to cross at a ford
The storming column, consisting of a battalion of light infantry-
followed by his grenadiers, formed behind the walls of the town
and suddenly advanced out on the bridge. Their advance was
soon checked by the Austrian artillery; and, to carry the column
forward, Generals Massena, Berthier, Dallemagne, and Chief of
Brigade Lannes, placed themselves at the head of the column.
When the column was checked a second time, the light infantry
leaped into the shallow river and engaged the batteries and
Austrian infantry. This enabled the grenadiers to cross the bridge
and attack the Austrian rear guard. The Austrians retreated with
a loss of about 500 men and a few guns.
The theatrical storming of the bridge at Lodi had a great moral
effect both on the French and the Austrian soldiers.
The Austrian troops were pursued by the advance guard and
Augereau as far as Crema and Cremona, while the cavalry went
northward to ascertain whether any other Austrian troops were
retreating to Brescia.
The advance guard and Laharpe's division were then posted
along the Adda, and Serurier's division at Piacenza, which it had
reached on the 10th. Augereau moved to Pavia and Mass-
ena to Milan.
Napoleon entered Milan with Massena on May 16, about a
month after the battle of Montenotte. Here he started the siege
of the citadel, then held by 2,000 Austrian troops left by Beaulieu,
and organized a new government.
On May 20, he learned that peace was finally signed between
Sardinia and France and he felt able to again advance, as his
communications were secure and he could coimt on reinforcements
from the Army of the Alps.
Augereau was directed to move to Milan, Massena to Lodi, and
Serurier to Cremona; the three divisions then moved to Brescia.
The cavalry and advance guard preceded the columns; Laharpe's
division moved with Massena's central column. Gen. Despinoy,
Digitized by V^OOQIC
who had been on Napoleon's staff, was assigned to the command
Beaiilieu, who had retired to the fortress of Mantua, was thus
obliged to withdraw his army from the vicinity of that fortress
to defend the upper Mincio and protect his communication with
the Tyrol in Austria.
From Brescia, Napoleon, with his advance guard, cavalry,
Massena and Serurier moved on Valeggio, while Augereau moved
on Peschiera. When Kilmaine, who temporarily commanded both
the cavalry and advance guard, forced the Mincio on May 30, at
Valeggio where it was fordable, Beaulieu retreated to Rivoli and
then made his way to Roveredo in the Tyrol. A strong Austrian
garrison was left in Mantua.
This closed the campaign of Napoleon and Beaulieu, which had
lasted a little less than two months.
1. To defend the passage of the Po, Beaulieu took a position
near Valenza. This could fulfil his object only when opposing an
army that was incapable of maneuvering. He should have placed
himself astride the Po, near Stradella, where he should have con-
structed two bridges with strong bridgeheads. This would have
prevented the French from moving down the south bank of the
Po and compelled them to cross it above the bridges. The Aus-
trian general would then have had the advantageous lines of the
Po and Ticino as lines of defense.
2. It is said that Napoleon should have crossed the Po at Cre-
mona instead of Piacenza; he would then have turned the Adda
as well. This is wrong; his movement was already an audacious
one. To have still further extended his army was to tempt the
enemy to attack its parts in detail. Furthermore, at Piacenza,
which is on the south bank, it was more probable that boats would
be found for the crossing than at Cremona, which is on the north
3. It is said that Napoleon should have advanced at once after
Lodi, for he would then have found Mantua unprepared for de-
fense. Such a movement would have been hazardous. There
were fortified places in rear, and governments to be established
in the province abandoned by the Austrians. The French were
as active and rapid in their movements as could be expected;
more would have been impossible. In the six days the army rested
in Lombardy, it doubled its effective power by increasing its artil-
lery, remoimting its cavalry, and rallying its stragglers.
4. Instead of attempting to defend the line of the Mincio, which
is weak, Beaulieu should either have assembled his whole army in
the district south of Mantua and drawn his supplies from the
country south of the Po, or he should have assembled it about
Gavardo or further north. This would have prevented the French
army from crossing the Mincio.
If he felt too weak to do either, he should have assembled it on
the plateau of Rivoli without entering Peschiera. The precedent
he established in violating the neutrality of Venice by occupying
this fortress compelled the Venetians to yield the fortresses of
Peschiera, Verona, and Legnago to the French.
FRENCH GENERALS OF DIVISION.
AUGEREAU, Pierre Francois.— Bom in Paris 1757. He enlisted in the
Neapolitan cavalry and was a sword master in 1792 when he returned to France
and entered the volunteers. He rose rapidly and in 1794 was a general of
division. In 1804 he was made a marshal of France. He served in the Army
of the Pyrenees, in the Army of Italy, 1796-7; commanded the Army of the
Rhine-Moselle, 1798; the Army of Holland, 1800, and as commander of the
VII. corps took part in the campaigns of Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau and Friedland.
Served in Spain in 1809, and under Napoleon in 1812-13-14. He hastened to
join the Bourbons in 1814 and his services were declined by Napoleon upon his
return from Elba and by the Bourbons on the second restoration. He died
in 1816. Under the Empire he was made Duke of Castiglione.
"Strong character, courage, firmness, energy, experience in warfare, liked by
his men and is lucky." — ^Napoleon August 14, 1796.
BERTHIER, Alexandre.— Bom in 1753 and entered the general staff in 1770.
Served as chief of staff of several different armies of the revolution before becom-
ing Chief of Staff of the Army of Italy. In 1799 he became minister of war and
in 1800 the nominal commander of the Reserve Army. In 1804 he became a
marshal of France. He accompanied Napoleon in all his campaigns as chief
of staff until his abdication in 1814. He then supported the Bourbons and
retired from France during the Hundred Days. He was killed somewhat myste-
riously during that period. He was one of the French officers who served under
Rochambeau in America. Under the Empire he was made Duke of Valengin,
Prince of Wagram and Sovereign Prince of Neuchatel.
"Talent, energy, courage, character. Is ambitious." — Napoleon August
DALLEMAGNE, Claudius. — ^Born in 1754. Entered army as volunteer in
1773. General of brigade 1793 ; general of division 1797 ; died 1810. Performed
distinguished service at Lodi, Lonato, Castiglione, Lavis and Mantua. In
1798 invested the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein on the Rhine and forced its capitu-
lation. Senator in 1806 and commandant of 25th military division in 1809.
KILMAINE, Charles Edward.— Bom in Ireland 1751. Entered French
service in 1774; adjutant in 1778; captain in 1778; lieut. col. in 1792; colonel in
1793; general of brigade in 1793; general of division in 1794. Died in Paris
in 1799. Served in northern armies until 1795; served in Armies of Alps and
Italy until 1798, then temporary commander of the Army of England.
"Especially good as commander of a detached body in any operation requiring
discretion, ability and calmness." — Napoleon at St. Helena.
LAHARPE, Amedee Emmanuel. — ^Bom in Switzerland 1754. Forced to
leave his country an account of liberal views, entered French army and became
chief of battalion of volunteers 1792; general of brigade for services at Toulon
1793; general of division 1795; was killed accidentally by his own troops at
Fombio, Italy, in 1796. From 1793 to 1796 he served in the Army of Italy.
"An officer of distinguished bravery. A grenadier in heart and stature.
Beloved by his troops whom he led with intelligence." — Napoleon at St. Helena.
MASSENA, Andre. — Bom in Nice in 1758 and enlisted in the infantry in
1775. In 1789 he left the service, having reached the grade of non-commis-
sioned officer. He entered the volunteers and was elected chief of battalion in
1792. In 1793 he became general of brigade and general of division, and in
1804 marshal of France. His service was with the Army of Italy from 1792 to
1797. In 1798 he commanded the French corps at Rome and in 1799 the Army
of Switzerland. In 1800 and again in 1805-6 he commanded the Army of Italy.
In the Friedland campaign he commanded the right wing of the army about
Warsaw. He took part in the campaign of 1809 on the Danube and in 1810
was sent to Spain and Portugal where he remained until the summer of 1811.
After his unsuccessful campaign in Spain, Napoleon refused to give him a field
command. He took service under the Bourbons and took no part in the affairs
of the Hundred Days. He lost favor with the Bourbons because he was a
member of the court-martial which refused to try Marshal Ney. He died in
1817. Under the Empire he was made Duke of Rivoli and Prince of Essling.
"Active, indefatigable; has boldness, military instinct and promptness in
deciding." — ^Napoleon August 14, 1796.
SERURIER, Jean Matthien.— Bom 1742. Entered army 1760, major 1789,
general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795, marshal 1804. Served in
Hanover 1760, in Poland 1762, in Corsica 1768, in Army of Italy 1792-1799.
Governor of Invalides and commandant of National Guard under Consulate
and Empire but was not in the field. Did not serve under Louis XVIII., but
served during the Hundred Days. Died 1819.
"Fights like a soldier, assumes no responsibility, firm, has a poor opinion of
his men." — Napoleon August 14, 1796.
STENGEL, Henri. — ^Bavarian who entered French service in 1762 ; first
lieutenant 1765 ; captain 1769 ; major 1788 ; general of brigade 1792 ;
general of division 1794. Served in the northern armies until 1796. Killed
at Mondovi 1796.
"Adroit, intelligent, alert; was a true general of outposts, collecting all mili-
tary and topographic information without being directed; combined the quali-
ties of youth with the experience of age." — Napoleon at St. Selena.
AUSTRIAN ARMY COMMANDERS.
BEAULIEU, Jean Pierre de. — Bom in Belgium in 1725 and'entered the army
in 1743. Served as a company officer in the Seven Years'^ War, 1756-1763.
In 1789 he became a brigade commander in the Austrian army, a division
commander in 1790, and served with distinction against the French in Belgium
from 1792 to 1795. He retired in 1796 and died in 1819.
COLLI-MARCHEI, Baron Michele Angelo Alessandro. — ^Bom in Piedmont,
Italy, 1738, and entered the Austrian service in 1756. He was a company
officer until 1768, a field officer until 1787; attained the rank of division
commander in 1793. He was in the Sardinian army 1793-1796, and later
served in the Papal and Neapolitan armies. He died in 1808.
AUSTRIAN ARMY— APRIL 1, 1796.
Beaulieu — General in Command.
Brigades Battalions Squadrons
There were also 13 squadrons of Neapolitan troops serving with Sebot-
Total, 35 battalions, 33 squadrons, 28,000 men.
ARMY OF ITALY— APRIL 4, 1796.
General in Chief, Bonaparte.
Aides de Camp, Murat, Junot, Marmont, Lemarrois, Louis Bonaparte.
Chief of Staff, Berthier, General of Division; Assistant Chief of Staff, Vignolle,
Adjutant General; Chief of Artillery, Dujard^ General of Division;
Chief Commissaire, Chauvet.
Total present in field army,
Sick in hospit
The organization of the divisions of Augereau and Serurier was somewhat
modified before the 11th, since Napoleon mentions Gens. Rusca, Fiorella and
MioUis as brigade commanders in these divisions. The best authorities now
agree that on the 10th of April Napoleon had in his four leading divisions
between 40,000 and 41,000 men, of whom 35,000 were infantry, and of the
remainder two-thirds cavalry and one-third artillery.
NAPOLEON AND WURMSER.
THE ITALIAN QUADRILATERAL.— The fortresses of Verona
and Legnago on the Adige River and those of Peschiera and
Mantua on the Mincio River form the Italian Quadrilateral.
Legnago and Peschiera were small fortifications designed prin-
cipally as bridgeheads and not requiring large garrisons. Verona
was a large walled town lying on both sides of the Adige and had
several detached forts. It was a bridgehead of great value as it
covered several bridges, had a citadel, and was capable of strong
defense. Mantua was a large walled town on the west bank of
the Mincio but as a fortress it owed its value to its peculiar situa-
tion. The Mincio here forms a lake which almost encircles the
town and leaves only a small part of the perimeter to be defended.
The east bank of the Mincio was connected with the town by two
long bridges and causeways. The one running due north from
Mantua terminated in a permanent fort — ^the citadel of Mantua —
which formed a strong bridgehead. The other was also covered
by a permanent bridgehead. The southwestern face of the city
was accessible by land but was covered by strong fortifications.
The Adige River between Verona and Legnago is a serious
obstacle; being unfordable, very swift and over 400 feet wide.
The Mincio although as wide as the Adige is fordable in the sum-
mer months and is not a serious obstacle.
The principal east and west roads through the Quadrilateral
are the Verona-Peschiera and the Legnago-Mantua roads. On
the former, Brescia is thirty and Peschiera seventeen miles west
of Verona; Villanova is thirteen and Vicenza is thirty miles east
of Verona. On the latter road Cremona. is forty and Marcaria
thirteen miles west of Mantua; Legnago is thirty and Padua
seventy miles east of Mantua.
An Austrian army entering Italy from the north, passes the
Alps by Brenner Pass and reaches Trent on the Adige River. An
Austrian army entering Italy from the east, passes through the
plain between the mountains and the Adriatic and reaches the
Brenta River near Cittadella. If armies are moving into Italy by
both lines simultaneously they may when they reach the Brenta
be concentrated either at Trent or Cittadella and advance on the
Quadrilateral by any of the various roads shown on the map.
From Trent to Bassano where the river emerges from the moun-
tains is a distance of sixty miles. Cittadella is ten miles from
Bassano, forty-five from Verona, and one hundred from Legnago
ROADS FROM TRENT TO THE QUADRILATERAL.—
From Trent the principal road is that along the east side of the
Adige which follows the bank of the river to Verona — ^fifty-five
miles. This road is most easily blocked at the gorge of the river
just below Rivoli and sixteen miles from Verona; the French later
constructed a fort at this gorge on the east side of the river.
Roveredo is the principal town on this road, being the center of
a network of roads. Between Roveredo and Trent the road and
river run through the gorge of Calliano.
All the roads between the Adige and Lake Garda start from the
Roveredo-Riva road and unite at the plateau of Rivoli. One
follows the west bank of the river to a point above Rivoli where on
account of the gorge it ascends the plateau — three or four hundred
feet above the river — and runs to Castelnovo. The two others
are inferior roads; one along the lake shore and the other in the
valley east of Monte Baldo. The latter passes through the defile
West of Lake Garda the valley of the Chiese River may be
reached by road either from Trent or from Roveredo. The roads
unite at Storo. Along Lake Idro there is a single road following
a narrow shelf at Rocca d'Anfo. Below Lake Idro one road runs
to Brescia which is ninety miles from Trent; one follows the river,
passing through Gavardo, with a branch running to Salo on Lake
Garda. There was no road between Salo and Riva along the west
shore of Lake Garda.
The road from Trent to Lake Idro passes the divide between
the Sarca and the Chiese at an elevation of 2,700, feet and that
from Riva to Lake Idro over a divide 2,500 feet in elevation. Lake
Idro itself has an elevation of 1,600 feet. The moimtain ranges
inclosing the Adige, Lake Garda and the Chiese all have summits
whose elevation exceeds 7,000 feet.
LAKE GARDA. — Lake Garda is the largest of the lakes of
northern Italy being thirty-four miles long, and eleven miles wide
at its broadest part. Sailing vessels on the lake formed the usual
means of transport.
MIUTARY SITUATION.— After the retreat of Beauleau, Gen.
Sauret reported to Napoleon to replace Gen. Laharpe and was
assigned to the command of the troops west of Lake Garda. Gen.
Vaubois also reported with a division from the Army of the Alps.
To Massena was assigned the task of covering the besieging
forces at Mantua. With Sauret's division of 4,000 men he was to
guard the roads west of Lake Garda, and with his own division
increased to 15,000 men he was to hold the space between Lake
Garda and the Adige River as far south as Ronco. A French
garrison was placed in Verona.
The rest of the troops were to drive the Austrians — 10,000 men
— who were encamped around Mantua across the Mincio into the
fortress where they were to be watched by Serurier assisted by Kil-
maine while Augereau guarded the Adige above and below Legnago.
In order to reduce the citadel and fortress of Mantua, orders were
sent to Coni, Nice and other points for siege artillery.
During the month of May, Napoleon had made terms with the
Dukes of both Parma and Modena by which they agreed to make
large contributions for the support of the army. As it would be
some time before the Austrian army could again take the field,
he determined to utilize this time in forcing the other powers of
Italy to make peace.
On June 5, at Brescia, he signed an agreement with the repre-
sentatives of the King of Naples. The following day he started
via Milan for Tortona and from that point arranged matters with
While at Tortona he directed Augereau to march with a part of
his division on Bologna, and Vaubois to march with his division
via Modena on Leghorn.
At Bologna, Jime 23, he came to an agreement with the repre-
sentatives of the Pope, and on Jime 27 visited Vaubois at Leghorn
to adjust matters in Tuscany. Having received information that
a new Austrian army was being assembled in Trent to relieve
Mantua, he now hastened back to his army and directed Augereau
to recross the Po and return to his position on the Adige.
On June 30, the citadel of Milan surrendered to Gen. Despinoy
and he was directed to leave a small garrison under Gen. Sahuguet
and join the army with three demibrigades.
On July 6, Napoleon reported to his government that Gen.
Wurmser, the new Austrian commander, was at Trent with an
army of 49,000 regulars. He gave the strength of his own army as
44,000 men. In round niunbers Massena had 15,000; Sauret,
4,500; Augereau, 5,000; Despinoy, 5,500; Kilmaine, 2,000; Seru-
rier, 10,000. About 2,000 of Despinoy's division, not included
above, were at Bergamo.
Sauret's troops were at Salo, Gavardo and Desenzano and a
small detachment at Brescia. Massena had outposts at Torri,
Corona and in the valley of the Adige, a strong reserve at Rivoli,
a garrison in Verona, and a demibrigade along the river below the
city. Despinoy had one demibrigade on the Adige between Mas-
sena and Augereau and another in Peschiera. Augereau occupied
Legnago and guarded the river above and below. Kilmaine with
the cavalry reserve was near Villafranca.
Napoleon at this time believed the roads west of Lake Garda
impracticable for a large force and expected the Austrians to force
the gap between the Adige and Lake Garda or attempt to cross
that river below Verona.
During the month of July, Napoleon tried unsuccessfully to
capture Mantua by surprise, employing boats to take his men
across the lake which surrounded the fortress. On July 18, the
siege guns having arrived, the first parallel was opened and the
chief engineer promised to reduce the place in twenty days. The
siege was however interrupted by Gen. Wurmser.
CAMPAIGN. — In the latter part of July, Gen. Wurmser moved
out from Trent leaving garrisons in the Tyrol.
Wurmser's plan was to attack the French line in three columns.
A column of four mixed brigades — 18,000 men — under Gen.
Quasdanovich, was to move down via Lake Idro to attack the
French posts west of Lake Garda. A central column of seven
brigades — 24,000 men — commanded by himself, was to move
down the Adige and on each side of Monte Baldo — 15,000 west
of the Adige River and 9,000 east of that river. A flying column
of one brigade of infantry and one brigade of cavalry — 5,000 men —
under Gen. Meszaros, was to move via the Brenta valley and
Vicenza to secure Verona and Legnago the minute they were
evacuated by the French.
July 29. — Early in the morning of July 29, Wurmser's central
column attacked Joubert's brigade of Massena's division at
Corona; and, though reinforced, the French outpost line was,
during the day, forced back to Rivoli. Sauret was attacked by
one brigade at Salo and was compelled to retreat to Desenzano.
A second Austrian brigade defeated the French force at Gavardo
which fell back to Salo and took refuge in an old castle where it
was invested. The other Austrian brigades moved on Brescia.
Napoleon was at Brescia in the morning and hastened to Pes-
chiera. His first orders were for a counter-attack, but this was
soon abandoned. Despinoy and Kilmaine were ordered to Castel-
novo to support Massena. Augereau was ordered to retreat to
July 30. — On the west side of Lake Garda two Austrian bri-
gades reached Brescia and one Austrian brigade reached the Chiese
River at San Marco on the Lonato road. The fourth brigade
remained at Salo. Wurmser's column was engaged all day in
concentrating at Rivoli and attacking Massena. Meszaros took
Verona and Legnago as soon as abandoned by the French. He
took no active part in the campaign but protected Wurmser's
Sauret was at Desenzano; Massena was obliged to fall back to
Castelnovo; Augereau was on the road between Legnago and
Mantua; Despinoy and Kilmaine at Castelnovo.
That night Napoleon definitely decided his plan of action, which
was to make his communications safe, by first attacking the Aus-
trians west of Lake Garda. Sauret and Despinoy were to recap-
ture Salo, release the French, and march on Brescia; Massena
was to abandon the east bank of the Mincio, leaving a small force
to hold Peschiera and the bridge at Valeggio, and send one demi-
brigade to Augereau; with the remainder of his troops he was to
retire to Desenzano; Serurier was to abandon the siege of Mantua
and send his troops east of the Mincio to join Augereau; with
those west of the Mincio, he was to fall back to Marcaria and hold
the crossing; Augereau, reinforced by Kilmaine and by troops
from Serurier and Massena, was to march for Brescia and recap-
July 31. — Two of the Austrian brigades west of the Mincio
moved from Brescia to Montechiaro on the Chiese River; the one
at San Marco on the Lonato road advanced to Lonato, where it
attacked Despinoy, defeated him, was in turn defeated by Massena
and returned to San Marco. The fourth remained at Salo.
Wurmser advanced from Castelnovo to the Mincio and gave
orders for the investment of Peschiera. He made no attempt to
cross the river or to advance on Mantua.
Sauret made a night march on Salo and relieved the troops that
had taken refuge in the old castle. He could not march on Brescia,
as Napoleon had ordered, since Despinoy had not accompanied
him. He therefore returned to Desenzano. Despinoy was moving
to support Sauret, when he was attacked by the Austrians near
Massena withdrew to Desenzano and in the afternoon marched
to Lonato to assist Despinoy.
Augereau and Kilmaine, imder Napoleon, were at Roverbella.
They covered Serurier while he was withdrawing his troops from
the besieging lines, destroying his works, and dismounting his
guns. Serurier with two brigades retired to Marcaria.
August 1. — Quasdanovich, hearing nothing from Wurmser and
learning that his brigades had met defeat at Salo and Lonato,
ordered his three advance brigades to fall back towards Gavardo.
Wurmser, after leaving a besieging force at Peschiera and a strong
force at Castelnovo to cover his communications, marched to
Augereau and Kilmaine under Napoleon with a column of 12,000
men crossed the Mincio at Goito during the night of July 31-
August 1, and moved on Brescia, driving the enemy's detachments
from their front. Sauret and Despinoy joined them at the Chiese.
The French reached Brescia in the evening of August 1, just as
the Austrians were evacuating. In passing Castiglione, Augereau
left a brigade at that place to cover his rear.
August 2. — Quasdanovich was assembling three brigades at
Gavardo; the fourth again took possession of Salo. Wurmser was
at Mantua, completing the destruction of the French besieging
works and moving their cannon into the fortress. He sent a
reconnoitering force via Goito towards Brescia to ascertain the
position of Quasdanovich.
Massena remained near Lonato and Sauret returned to that
place; Despinoy remained at Brescia where his troops from Ber-
gamo joined him. Augereau and Kilmaine moved back to Monte-
chiaro on the Chiese.
That afternoon Napoleon learned that the French brigade at
Castiglione had retreated before Wurmser's reconnoitering force
without fighting. Assuming that Wurmser was behind this
column he was for a time thoroughly discouraged and inclined to
order a general retreat behind the Adda. He recovered from his
depression, however, and decided not to retreat.
He therefore ordered Sauret's division to again make a night
march from Lonato and retake Salo. Dallemagne, who commanded
a brigade under Sauret, was to move on Gavardo and cooperate
with Despinoy, who was to march to the same place from Brescia.
Augereau and Kilmaine were to advance to Castiglione and hold
Wurmser should he advance.
August 3. — Quasdanovich decided to leave a brigade at Gavardo
and advance with the others to find Wurmser. En route to Lonato
he struck in succession Despinoy and Dallemagne and drove them
back. His fourth brigade from Salo reached Lonato via Desen-
zano and its commander surprised one of Massena's brigades and
captured part of it. Massena came to the rescue and the Austrian
brigade was defeated and almost destroyed. Quasdanovich again
withdrew towards Gavardo. Wurmser advanced with a strong
force and joined his reconnoitering force at Castiglione, where
he had an engagement with Augereau and Kilmaine.
On the morning of the 3d, Sauret's division returned to Salo,
without passing through Desenzano and in turn invested a part
of an Austrian fourth brigade. The operations of Despinoy,
Dallemagne and Massena have been described. In a brilliant
engagement at Castiglione, Augereau and Kilmaine defeated the
force that Wurmser had brought to that place.
That night Napoleon directed Massena to reinforce Saiu-et's
division and ordered the Austrian communications to be seriously
threatened both from Salo and Brescia.
August 4. — Quasdanovich, having lost one of his brigades and
being threatened from Salo and Brescia, was afraid to advance
with his whole force but sent a mixed brigade of 2,000 men to
find Wurmser. This force almost captured Napoleon when it
appeared suddenly at Lonato; its commander, however, being
informed that he was in the presence of the whole French army,
surrendered his command. When he learned of this loss, Quasda-
novich ordered his brigades to fall back to Lake Idro.
Wurmser concentrated his force this day to make a serious
attack on Augereau.
That night Napoleon decided that his communications were no
longer threatened and that he could attack Wurmser with im-
August 5. — The decisive battle of the campaign took place
this day at Castiglione, where Wurmser had assembled about
20,000 men. Napoleon employed in his attack all of his available
troops — 30,000 men. The division at Salo was the only one
absent. The two brigades of Serurier's division at Marcaria
marched to the field and attacked the Austrians in flank and rear.
Wurmser fought a stubborn battle but was finally compelled
to retreat across the Mincio.
August 6. — Massena, followed by Augereau, marched in haste
to reinforce the French garrison of Peschiera — which was about
to surrender — and to cross the Mincio in order to cut off Wurmser's
retreat. Being warned in time, Wurmser decided that night to
leave part of his troops as a garrison in Mantua and with the
remainder withdraw to Rivoli and Verona.
August 8 to 10. — Napoleon ordered Sauret to advance via
Lake Idro, Massena on Rivoli, and Augereau on Verona. By
August 10, Sauret was at the junction of the roads north of Lake
Idro, Massena at Rivoli and Corona, and Augereau at Verona.
Each of the three columns of Wurmser's army retired over the
roads on which it advanced. Meszaros stopped at Bassano.
At the close of this two weeks' campaign. Gen. Despinoy was
sent to command a fortress in Sardinia and his troops given to
Gen. Sauret. Gen. Sauret, who was injured during the campaign,
was later replaced by Gen. Vaubois. Gen. Serurier, who was
seriously ill, was replaced by Gen. Sahuguet. Gen. Serurier later
took the command in Tuscany which had been held by Vaubois.
With the troops left by Wurmser, the Mantua garrison now
niunbered five brigades — 15,000 men.
The French troops were much exhausted by this campaign,
and it was not until August 24, that the Austrian garrison at
Mantua was attacked and forced to cross to the west side of the
As all the siege material and works had been destroyed either
by the French or the Austrians, Napoleon was compelled to resort
to investment alone. This however was not sufficiently close to
cut off all supplies from the south.
1. The plan of Marshal Wurmser was defective; his three
columns were separated from each other by two rivers, the Adige
and the Mincio, by Lake Garda, and by several chains of moun-
2. Wurmser should have done one of two things :
First: — He might have advanced with his whole force between
Lake Garda and the Adige River and taken possession of the
plateau of Rivoli. To this point he could have brought his artillery
by the river road. Thus posted, with his right on Lake Garda, his
left on the Adige, with a front of only three leagues, he would have
been too powerful for the French army.
Second: — He might have debouched with his whole army by
the Chiese on Brescia; the artillery could have taken this route.
3. In the execution of his plan, he made another mistake, for
which he paid dearly; it was in losing two days by going to Mantua.
He should have thrown two bridges over the Mincio out of cannon
range of Peschiera and promptly crossed this river to join his
right column at Lonato, Desenzano, or Salo, and thus rapidly
repaired the defects of his plan.
To operate by lines separated from each other is a mistake
which usually compels one to commit a second. The detached
column has orders only for the first day; its operations for the
second day depend on what happens to the main coliunn. It
therefore either loses time in awaiting further orders or it operates
It is then a principle that an army should always have its
columns so united that an enemy cannot get in between them.
4. The division of Sauret should have had an advance guard
at Rocca d'Anfo on Lake Idro to reconnoiter the coimtry to the
north; this would have prevented the surprise of Salo and Brescia.
These places would then have had twelve hours warning and could
have been prepared for defense.
5. Since there is west of Lake Garda but a single practicable
road for artillery which passes through Rocca d'Anfo, an army
must pass this defile to reach Salo. Would it not have been better
to post Sauret at this point and occupy by redoubts, intrench-
ments, and two armed boats the roads and the lake? It would
have taken the Austrian right column twenty-four hours to take
this place, and Brescia, Salo, and army headquarters would have
been warned of its approach. It must be admitted that this
division was badly posted, since it did not occupy the position
which it should have occupied to fulfil its purpose of covering
the country to the west of Lake Garda.
6. At Brescia was a hospital and storehouse and only three
companies in garrison; they were made prisoners of war. Had
the citadel been put in condition to resist open assault, this would
not have happened. It was afterwards done, but should have
been done before.
FRENCH GENERALS OF DIVISION.
DESPINOY, Hyacinthe Francois. — Entered army as cadet 1780, second
lieutenant 1784, chief of battalion 1793, general of brigade 1793, general of
division 1800, died 1848. Served in the armies of the North and of the Pyrenees
1792-1795. Captured the citadel of Milan in 1796 and brevetted general of
division. Governor of various fortified towns 1800-1814. In the army under
the Bourbons until 1830.
"Without energy or audacity. Is not a natural soldier, is not loved by his
men, does not lead them into action. Has high principles, a good mind, sound
political views. A good commander in the interior." — Napoleon August 14,
SAURET, Pierre Franconin. — Bom in 1742. Entered army as private in
1757, grenadier 1759, sergeant 1763, ensign 1779, captain 1792, chief of battalion,
chief of brigade and general of division 1793, died 1812.
"Good, very good soldier; not sufficient intellect for a general officer; not
lucky. — Napoleon August 14, 1796.
AUSTRIAN ARMY COMMANDER.
WURMSER, Count Jean Pierre de. — Bom in Alsace in 1724 and entered the
French army in 1745. After two years* service he moved to Vienna, entered
the Austrian service, and served in the Seven Years' War. Attained the grade
of division commander in 1779, and in 1787 that of corps commander. Served
with distinction on the Rhine, 1793-1795. After 1797 he was made field mar-
shal, but died the same year without further service.
ARMY OF ITALY— JULY 20, 1796.
15,391 including 2 cavalry regiments
5,368 including 1 cavalry regiment
10,000 including 2 cavalry regiments
The 12th demibrigade was en route to join Serurier and the 25th demibrigade
was en route to join Despinoy from Milan; the latter was at Bergamo. These
reserves would bring the strength of the army to 46,700.
MILITARY SITUATION.— The withdrawal of 25,000 men
under Gen. Wurmser to reinforce the Austrian army in Italy had
weakened the Austrian armies along the Rhine River and allowed
the French armies to cross that river.
The French Army of the Sambre and Meuse, under Gen.
Jourdan, crossed the Rhine north of the Main, and the French
Army of the Rhine under Gen. Moreau at Strasburg. About the
20th of August, Jourdan was near Nuremberg and Moreau near
Ulm. From Ulm, Gen. Moreau was to move a force on Innsbruck
and threaten Wurmser's communications through the Inn Val-
ley. This, it was believed by the Directory, would cause Wurmser
to retreat from the Tyrol and join Archduke Charles in Germany.
The Directory advised Napoleon, under these circumstances, to
advance to Trent and follow Wurmser over the Brenner Pass.
Napoleon had three brigades — 10,000 men — ^under Vaubois
west of Lake Garda; two of these brigades were north of Lake
Idro and one at Salo. Massena had four brigades — 13,000 men —
between Lake Garda and the Adige with one brigade of cavalry.
Augereau had three brigades — 10,000 men — at Verona. Kil-
maine was at Verona with a mixed brigade of 2,000 men. Sahu-
guet was besieging Mantua with a force of 8,000 men. Several
thousand men were sick in the hospitals.
Wurmser's regular force was now reduced to 40,000 men. A
new chief of staff was sent him from Vienna to suggest a plan of
operations. The plan adopted was to divide his army into two
equal corps — one under Wurmser to assemble at Bassano and
defend the road eastward from Verona; the other under Gen.
Davidovich to remain at Trent and defend the road leading into
the Tyrol. Each could advance cautiously and if Napoleon
attacked either, the other could relieve Mantua and operate on
the French communications.
When the campaign opened, one division of Wurmser's corps
was at Bassano, one in the valley of the Brenta near Primolano,
and one just east of Trent.
Davidovich was compelled to detach two brigades to protect
his communications against Moreau's army and had but 14,000
regulars with some militia. His main body — 8,000 men — was
near Roveredo with outposts at Ala and beyond Riva; the
reserve was at Trent.
NAPOLEON'S PLAN.— Napoleon notified both the Dh-ectory
and Gen. Moreau that he would advance on Trent about Septem-
ber 2, and reach there the 4th or 5th. He would then be able to
decide on his next step.
His plan was to advance in three columns. Vaubois with his
two brigades was to advance to the vicinity of Riva and there
meet his Salo brigade, which was to be transported by water. Mas-
sena was to advance up the Adige valley and Augereau up the
valleys north of Verona.
Kilmaine was directed to hold Verona with an infantry garrison
of 1,000 men and cover it with a cavaby brigade.
Sahuguet was to hold the line about Mantua and send a cavalry
outpost to Legnago.
As it was possible that Napoleon himself might move north
from Trent he warned both Kilmaine and Sahuguet that the
Austrians might appear in force either at Legnago or Verona. If
the opposing force was too great, Kilmaine and Sahuguet were to
fall back behind the Oglio, leaving a strong garrison in Peschiera.
CAMPAIGN — September 2. — Vaubois advanced to Riva and
Massena drove the Austrian outposts out of Ala.
September 3. — Massena captured Roveredo and drove the
Austrians beyond Galliano. Vaubois united his forces and moved
up the west side of the Adige.
September 4. — Napoleon entered Trent^with^Massena and was
there joined by Vaubois.
September 5. — Massena and Vaubois attacked Davidovich at
Lavis and compelled him to retreat towards Botzen. Augereau
arrived at Roveredo and was sent eastwards to Levico.
September 6. — Napoleon decided to leave Vaubois at Lavis,
covering Trent, while he with Massena and Augereau moved
September 7. — ^Augereau with two brigades attacked Primolano
where there was an Austrian brigade of 2,000 men and succeeded
in capturing the commanding oflBcer and most of his force.
September 8. — Massena and Augereau reached the foothills
north of Bassano, where Wurmser had left a brigade on each side
of the river to cover his trains near Cittadella. A third brigade
was in reserve near Bassano. Massena attacked west of the river
and Augereau east of the river and together carried the Austrian
lines and pursued the Austrian troops to their reserves who were
The Austrians lost 35 guns, their bridge equipage and a large
number of prisoners. Some of the fugitives retreated eastwards
from Cittadella, but the main force to Montebello. Napoleon had
now almost completely destroyed one of Wurmser's three divi-
sions; one after considerable loss retreated to Montebello; the
third was at Montebello when Bassano was attacked and was not
engaged. Wurmser himself joined this division.
September 9. — ^Wurmser now decided to move on Legnago,
cross the river and go to Mantua. He spent the day in reorganiz-
ing and resting his troops near Arcole, but sent a cavalry force
to Legnago which was at once evacuated by the French garrison.
Massena followed to Montebello; Augereau moved to Padua.
September 10. — Wurmser reached Legnago in the afternoon
and crossed the river. Massena's advance guard crossed at Ronco
that night. Augereau marched towards Legnago.
September 11. — Sahuguet was warned of Wurmser's move-
ments and directed to destroy all the bridges over the Molinella
River between Sanguinetto and Mantua and guard the river;
Kilmaine was to assist him. Massena was directed to march on
Sanguinetto and Augereau was directed to take Legnago if pos-
sible. Wurmser left a strong rear guard in Legnago and started
Napoleon's plans went astray this day. Sahuguet's men did
not destroy all the bridges, and Massena's guide, instead of taking
him on the direct road to Sanguinetto, took him via Angiari and
Cerea. Massena therefore ran into Wurmser's main body with
two brigades greatly weakened by stragglers and was defeated.
Wurmser, guided by a native, passed over a bridge south of San-
guinetto and joined the Austrian garrison opposite Mantua.
Sahuguet abandoned his investing line east of the Mincio and
crossed the Mincio at Goito.
September 12. — ^A brigade of Massena's division and Auger-
eau's division invested Legnago. Massena moved towards Mantua.
September 13. — The Austrian commander of Legnago surren-
dered with 1,600 men and the French investing troops marched
on Mantua. Augereau was obliged by sickness to give up his
September 14 and 15. — These days were spent by Napoleon
in uniting his forces and attacking Wurmser at San Giorgio to
compel him to evacuate the east bank of the Mincio. The fighting
was very severe but at last Napoleon was successful.
The campaign ended September 15, two weeks from the day
Napoleon started from Trent. After a few days' rest, Massena
was sent to occupy Verona and take post at Bassano where he
could communicate with Vaubois via the Brenta valley. The
other divisions remained near Mantua.
Wurmser took with him into Mantua about 10,000 men which
added to the garrison made a force of about 25,000 men. The
fighting strength of this force was reduced by several thousand on
the sick report. Wurmser encamped most of his men on the main
land southwest of the fortification.
Napoleon assigned Kilmaine to the command of the investing
forces which he organized into two divisions under Gens. Sahuguet
and Dallemagne. The investment was not at first very close but
after Wurmser attempted to seize Govemolo near the mouth of
the Mincio, Kilmaine reinforced by Augereau's division drove
him into his intrenched camp west of the Mincio. The French
lines of investment were then strengthened by field fortifications.
The French army suffered greatly in this campaign. All of the
brigade commanders of Massena's division were killed, wounded
or so exhausted by the operations as to be on the sick report.
The distance from Rivoli to Lavis is 60 miles; from Lavis to
Cittadella 70 miles, and from Cittadella to Mantua 70 miles via
Ronco. The divisions of Massena and Augereau must therefore
have marched on an average about 15 miles a day from the 2d to
the 13th inclusive, besides engaging the enemy almost daily.
On October 1, Napoleon reported to the Directory that he had
18,000 men on the sick report; 4,000 from wounds. He reported
the strength of his divisions — Vaubois, 8,000; Massena, 5,500;
Augereau, 5,400; Sahuguet, 4,500; Dallemagne, 4,500. The
strength of the cavalry reserve is not mentioned.
1. At the beginning of September, when Wurmser moved
towards Bassano, leaving Davidovich in the Tjo^ol, he should have
directed Davidovich, in case he was attacked in force by the
French, not to accept battle at Roveredo, but to retire on Bassano,
in order to unite the army before giving battle. The Tjo-olean
militia could have guarded the Avisio valley. Otherwise he should
have ordered Davidovich to retire on Galliano and the valley of
the Avisio. Roveredo and the other positions occupied by him
are good positions, but they cannot compensate for lack of numbers
if attacked by impetuous troops. In all affairs in gorges, columns
once broken, interfere with each other and fall into the power of
2. Wurmser having united his corps at Bassano, should have
sent only a column, consisting of a division of infantry, 2,000
cavalry, and a bridge train, to relieve Mantua. This force should
have crossed the Adige at Albaredo from which it is only a short
march to Mantua. The garrison of Mantua thus reinforced could
have maintained itself in the field for some time. He himself
should have retired to the Piave. The French army would have
been obliged to hold its left in the Tjo^ol, its center in front of the
Piave, and at the same time reinforce its right in order to re-estab-
lish the blockade of Mantua. This would have been a heavy task
for a small army.
3. After Bassano, Wurmser was compelled to march to the
Adige with the remnant of his army. His bridge train and reserve
parks having been captured, he should have been surrounded,
stopped by the river and compelled to surrender. He owed his
good fortune in reaching Mantua to the French chief of battalion
who evacuated Legnago.
4. The Marshal made a mistake in leaving any garrison in
Legnago. It was impossible for him to retreat to Legnago in the
face of the entire French army; he was obliged to try to reach
Mantua. It would have been easier for him to move to Milan
than to return to Legnago. He reduced his own strength and
sacrificed this garrison uselessly.
5. Wurmser was also wrong in risking a battle at San Giorgio;
he should have retired to the coimtry south of Mantua which is
the real battlefield of the garrison of Mantua when strong enough
to operate outside its walls.
He might also have crossed from this section to the country
south of the Po. By making a detour, he might have reached
Padua with his cavalry, artillery and staff before the French
general became aware of his movement.
FRENCH GENERALS OF DIVISION.
SAHUGUET, Jean Joseph.— Born 1756. Entered French army as lieu-
tenant and became captain 1784; lieut. col. of dragoons 1791, general of brigade
1792, general of division 1793, died 1803. Served in the Army of the Pyrenees,
in the Army of Italy and as governor of conquered provinces after Wurmser's
VAUBOIS, Claude Henri.— Bom 1748. Captain of artillery at the outbreak
of the revolution, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795, retired as
lieutenant general 1817, died 1839. In the Army of the Alps 1793 to 1795, in
the Army of Italy in 1796, in 1798 was appointed by Napoleon conmiander of
the island of Malta which he successfully defended for two years. Elected
senator and made count in 1808. Took no part in Napoleon's government in
1815 and remained in chamber of peers until his death.
''Vaubois is a brave man. Has the proper qualifications for the commander
of a besieged place but not for the commander of a division in a very active
army or in a war so vigorously conducted as this." — Napoleon November 24,
AUSTRIAN ARMY— JULY 26, 1796.
Wurmser — General in Chief.
Weyrother— Chief of Staflf.
Wing Brigade Bat. Squad. Inf.
Digitized by V^OOQIC
NAPOLEON AND ALVINCZI.
MILITARY SITUATION.— After the defeat of Wurmser in
front of Mantua, Napoleon moved his headquarters to Milan
where he remained imtil the middle of October.
While he was engaged in his second campaign with Wurmser,
the French armies in Bavaria were defeated by Archduke Charles
and both Jourdan and Moreau had retreated to the Rhine River.
Napoleon was now anxious for peace with Austria. His own
army was exhausted and in no condition to invest Mantua and
meet the new Austrian army which the emperor would be sure to
send; his communications were harassed by Sardinian bandits
who seemed to be supported by their government; both the Papal
states and Naples were threatening war and an uprising in Venice
was to be feared; all the other Italian states were restless and
ready to desert him if he met with defeat. His requisitions had
been very severe on Italy, robbing her not only of supplies and
war material, but also of her most precious works of art.
On October 2, he wrote to the emperor of Austria, threatening
to advance on Triest and destroy that harbor, unless peace was
made. As this had no effect, on the 16th he wrote to Wurmser
offering him free passage for his entire garrison if he would sur-
render the fortress of Mantua; this letter was not answered.
The Austrians, who had some reserve battalions on the frontier
of Venice, at Tarvis and Gorz, used these and the battalions of
Wurmser's army that had retired eastward, to form the nucleus
of a new army. Knowing from the Venetians the weakness of
Massena's division, these troops advanced to the Piave River.
On the 17th of October, Napoleon informed the Directory that
the Austrians had 15,000 men on the Piave, 14,000 in the Tyrol
and were sending troops from Austria to reinforce them; he urged
that he be similarly reinforced.
About the middle of the month he started for Verona via Pavia,
Modena and Bologna and reached his army October 23.
NAPOLEON'S PLAN.— Assuming that Davidovich's corps
had been reduced by detachments sent to the main army on the
Piave, which was daily growing in strength, Napoleon decided
to have Vaubois attack Davidovich and drive him back into the
mountains. Then Vaubois could either come with his whole force
or send a large part of it down the Brenta valley to unite with
Massena and Augereau.
Vaubois had 10,500 men at Lavis and Trent; Massena had
9,500 at Bassano and Cittadella; Augereau 8,500 at Verona, a
reserve infantry brigade of 3,000 was at Villafranca and the reserve
cavalry brigade of 1,600 men at Verona. Kilmaine with the
divisions of Sahuguet and Dallemagne was at Mantua.
THE AUSTRIAN PLAN.— In the latter part of September,
Gen. Alvinczi was assigned to the command of the relieving army
which was strengthened as much as the resources of the empire
Having visited Davidovich in the Tjo-ol, he decided on the
following plan. Davidovich was to recall the two brigades that
had been protecting his commimications in the previous campaign
from possible attack by detachments from Moreau's army, and
his army was to be strengthened by four brigades to 18,000 or
20,000 men. He was to assume the offensive and drive Vaubois
out of Trent, thus giving the Austrians the northern end of the
Brenta valley. Alvinczi was to personally command the army
which was to be concentrated on the Piave River. This army
was to have six brigades — 28,000 to 30,000 men. He was to move
from the Piave to Bassano and Cittadella and secure the southern
end of the Brenta valley.
The two Austrian armies could then concentrate on either line
of march, or both advance to unite at Verona.
The French and Austrian plans were similar; the Austrian
forces outnimabered the French by one-half the strength of the
French mobile force. To offset this advantage, the French were
protected by the Adige River and its fortresses — ^Verona and
Legnago — each of which had been placed in a good state of defense
by Napoleon's chief engineer and chief of artillery.
CAMPAIGN. — November 2. — Vaubois made an unsuccessful
attack on the advancing Austrian forces north of Lavis. Alvinczi's
troops began to cross the Piave River.
November 3. — Davidovich advanced his left wing so as to cut
Vaubois from the Brenta, and his right wing along the west side
of the Adige. Alvinczi crossed the Piave River and advanced in
two columns on Bassano and Cittadella.
November 4. — Davidovich, still advancing on both sides of
the Adige, compelled Vaubois to retreat to Galliano. Alvinczi
advanced on Bassano and Cittadella and Massena retreated to
Vicenza where the reserve infantry brigade joined him. Augereau
advanced from Verona to Montebello.
While authorizing Massena to retreat, Napoleon had not given
up his plan of holding the line of the Brenta. He therefore rein-
forced Massena and pushed Augereau to the front.
November 5. — Davidovich took possession of Trent and
arranged his columns for an advance on Calliano.
Alvinczi crossed the Brenta unopposed. Massena was at
Vicenza; Augereau advanced to that point.
Gen. Joubert, whose brigade was at Legnago, was ordered to
Rivoli with one demibrigade to cover the retreat of Vaubois.
November 6. — Vaubois was attacked on the afternoon of the
6th at Calliano and resisted the attack. The Austrian brigade
west of the Adige, having only a small force in its front, reached
the Riva-Roveredo road and threatened his communications.
Massena and Augereau, under Napoleon's supervision, attacked
Alvinczi between Cittadella and Bassano on the Brenta. Both
armies fought well. Napoleon was unable to force Alvinczi to
recross the Brenta.
Noyember 7. — Vaubois fought all day at Galliano. Being
obliged to send troops to protect his communications, he was
decisively defeated in the afternoon and retreated that night
through Ala to Peri. Joubert's brigade moved up from Rivoli
and held Corona.
Napoleon had intended to renew the battle on the Brenta this
day, but the news from Vaubois made him hesitate and he finally
started Massena for Verona to be followed by Augereau. In
person he hastened to Rivoli and put Vaubois' troops in position
at that place.
Noyember 8. — Massena reached Verona in person on the after-
noon of the 8th and as he was familiar with the country was placed
temporarily in command of Vaubois' division, with orders to
defend the line between Lake Garda and the Adige. Massena
sent another demibrigade to Joubert at Gorona and posted the
remainder of Vaubois' division at Rivoli. Davidovich did not
push his pursuit.
Massena's division retired to Verona and Augereau's to Monte-
bello. Alvinczi reached Vicenza.
Noyember 9. — Davidovich, having been informed that Mas-
sena had reinforced Vaubois, ceased his advance. Vaubois and
Massena strengthened their positions at Gorona and Rivoli with
artillery and intrenchments.
Augereau's division returned to Verona where he was assigned
the defense of the Adige from Verona to Legnago. Alvinczi ad-
vanced to Montebello.
November 10. — The Austrians did not move this day and the
French simply strengthened their lines.
November 11. — ^Alvinczi advanced to Villanova from which
place the French outpost retired. An Austrian reconnoitering
force came within a mile of Verona but was driven back.
As everything was quiet in Vaubois' front, Napoleon decided to
again attack Alvinczi. Massena in person was recalled from
Rivoli and that night the division of Massena and part of that of
Augereau moved out and encamped near the east gate of Verona.
November 12. — At break of day Napoleon moved from Verona
and attacked the Austrian advance brigades at Caldiero — 8,000
men — with the divisions of Massena and a part of that of Auger-
eau. Although the resistance was obstinate, the Austrians being
in intrenched villages. Napoleon was making progress when, in
the afternoon, two additional Austrian brigades reached the field.
The French were then defeated and driven with considerable loss
back into Verona. The darkness probably prevented the Aus-
trians from following up their success.
November 13. — There were no operations this day, though
Davidovich was preparing to advance.
Napoleon was thoroughly discouraged and wrote a very despond-
ent letter to the Directory. Vaubois' division had lost a third of
its strength and some of its regiments had shown signs of demorali-
zation. Massena and Augereau had twice unsuccessfully attacked
the enemy and had suffered severe loss. The Austrians were now
relatively much stronger than they had been at the opening of the
campaign. Retreat to the Adda seemed the only thing left.
November 14. — ^Another day passed without any operations.
Davidovich made preparations to attack Corona on the 15th.
Alvinczi decided to throw a bridge across the Adige south of
Caldiero and was making causeways through the marsh to the
site of the bridge.
Napoleon's spirits rose and he began to despise an adversary
who was so slow to take advantage of his opportunities. He knew
that Vaubois could not hold out against Davidovich and yet he
did not dare to move Massena and Augereau to Rivoli with Alvin-
czi at the gates of Verona. He therefore decided to strike the
communications of Alvinczi about a day's march from Verona,
and see if he could not make him retreat and give Napoleon time
to destroy Davidovich.
At Villanova, thirteen miles east of Verona, the Verona-Vicenza
highway is hemmed in between the foothills of the Alps on the
north and the marshy triangle between the Adige and Alpon. Al-
vinczi left his trains just east of Villanova.
Napoleon knew that Alvinczi would feel sensitive about this
point, and he therefore made up his mind to threaten it.
To secure a striking force, he directed Gen. Vaubois to send at
once two of his seven demibrigades from Rivoli to Ronco and one
to Verona, and on the 15th to concentrate his entire division at
Rivoli, leaving only an outpost at Corona. Kilmaine was informed
that he must keep Wurmser in Mantua, Alvinczi out of Verona,
and send one of his seven demibrigades to Napoleon.
Sixteen miles below Verona on the west bank of the Adige River
is the small village of Ronco, where the French had a ponton
bridge which had been dismantled a few days before. Between
the Adige and Alpon is marsh, below the water level of the two
rivers. A dike along the east bank of the Adige and another along
the west bank of the Alpon were the principal roadways in this
section. There was a small area of high ground near the junction
of the two rivers. At Arcole or Areola, where the Alpon is about
60 feet wide, there was a narrow wooden bridge. Arcole is only
three and a half miles from Villanova and due south of it.
After dark on the 16th, Napoleon, with the divisions of Massena
and Augereau, Gen. Guieu's brigade of Vaubois' division and a
brigade of cavalry, marched down to Ronco where orders had been
given to rebuild the bridge. En route, one of Guieu's demibrigades
was left opposite Alvinczi's proposed crossing. An Austrian
battalion, posted at Ronco, retreated to Arcole.
November 15. — ^As directed, Vaubois withdrew from Corona
without being attacked and concentrated his remaining troops at
Rivoli. Davidovich followed with four brigades and occupied
At daylight, Massena crossed the bridge, and with part of his
division, started up the pike for Caldiero. The Austrians at once
sent a force to meet him but in the course of the day Massena
reached and held Porcil a small village a mile and a half from the
Augereau followed Massena and moved on the dike to Arcole,
where there was an Austrian brigade with two guns. For a mile,
this dike was separated from the Austrians behind the opposite
dike by the width of the river — 30 yards. The flank fire of the
Austrians threw Augereau's column in disorder and, although at
one time he was in actual possession of the bridge, he could not
In the afternoon, Napoleon sent Guieu with his brigade to
Albaredo to cross in boats to come up on the Austrians' left flank.
The attacks on the bridge were continued by Augereau's column
until late in the afternoon. As at Lodi, the generals of division
and brigade, placed themselves at the head of the column to carry
it forward, but all in vain; Napoleon himself led one attack. To-
wards evening Napoleon ordered both divisions to recross the
ponton bridge leaving a strong guard on the east bank.
Guieu came up after dark and captured Arcole by surprise.
He stayed there until midnight. Hearing nothing from Napoleon,
he then retreated to Albaredo, crossed the river and returned to
While the day's work had not been entirely successful, it did
cause Alvinczi to send his trains from Villanova to Montebello;
to give up all thought of crossing the Adige; and led him to engage
in a battle on the dikes.
That night Napoleon ordered Vaubois to still further reduce
his force and send 1,000 men into Verona to replace some he had
ordered to Ronco.
November 16.— Davidovich spent this day in making prepara-
tions to attack Rivoli. Alvinczi sent two brigades down the dikes
from Porcil and four brigades to Arcole. One of the latter took
possession of Albaredo and protected that flank; one remained in
Arcole; the other two crossed the Alpon and marched towards
the French ponton bridge. Alvinczi hoped to prevent the French
from again crossing the river.
Massena and Augereau crossed the river as on the preceding
day, and met the Austrians on both dikes close to the bridge. The
battle of the dikes was maintained all day long without the capture
of the bridge at Arcole. In the afternoon, the French made an
attempt to bridge the Alpon near its mouth but the Austrians on
the opposite dike prevented its successful completion.
At night Napoleon again withdrew Massena and Augereau to
the west bank, leaving a strong guard to cover the bridge.
November 17. — Davidovich attacked Vaubois, routed him
and captured two of his three brigade commanders and a third of
his command. Vaubois fled with the remnant of his command to
Castelnovo. Davidovich stopped between Rivoli and Castelnovo
to await orders from Alvinczi.
On the night of the 16th-17th, Napoleon sent a battalion of
infantry and a regiment of cavalry to Legnago, to form with its
garrison a column which was to move up the east side of the Adige
to Arcole. Preparations were also made for the construction of a
bridge near the mouth of the Alpon on the following day.
In crossing the river on the morning of November 17, Massena
was in advance and was for a time cut of! with a part of his division,
by the breaking of the ponton bridge. The French artillery how-
ever protected him from the attacks of the Austrians who were
again marching for the bridge.
Severe fighting on the dikes again took place beginning near the
bridge and with varying success. In the afternoon Augereau,
however, crossed the Alpon near its mouth and formed a junction
with the Legnago column. Massena then attacked along both
dikes. Augereau was repulsed in an attack on Arcole and the day
might have ended with the village in the possession of the Aus-
trians, had not Napoleon sent a small squad of cavalry, in con-
cealment aroimd the Austrian left flank, where its bugles sounded
calls, which made the Austrian commander believe a large cavalry
force was on his flank. He therefore abandoned Arcole and retired
through Gazzolo. Augereau and Massena pursued and attacked
but were repulsed.
The French bivouacked on both sides the Alpon at Arcole.
November 18. — Davidovich did not move, as he had heard
nothing from Alvinczi. Massena and Augereau moved up on
opposite sides of the Alpon to Villanova, and caused the with-
drawal of the last of Alvinczi's forces. They then marched to
Verona, while the cavalry followed Alvinczi towards Montebello.
Napoleon, having heard that Vaubois' force was almost de-
stroyed, ordered Massena to unite with the remnants of Vaubois'
division at Villafranca.
November 19. — On the afternoon of this day, Davidovich
learned of Alvinczi's retreat, and began himself to move north-
wards. Massena moved to Villafranca while Augereau remained
November 20. — Massena organized his force at Villafranca.
Alvinczi this day learned of the defeat of Vaubois and informed
Davidovich that the main army would again move on Verona.
November 21. — Massena moved on Rivoli, and Augereau up
the east bank of the Adige. Hearing that Massena was moving to
attack him, and Augereau was marching for his communications,
Davidovich hastened to retreat. Massena struck his rear guard at
Rivoli and Augereau's advance guard struck him in flank at Peri.
November 22. — Davidovich sent word to Alvinczi that his
troops were in no condition to continue the campaign, and he
would retire to Roveredo. Alvinczi had by this time retaken his
position at Caldiero and Arcole.
November 23. — ^Alvinczi received Davidovich's message and
not caring to face Napoleon alone, promptly ordered a retreat to
the Brenta River. Napoleon made no attempt to pursue, as his
troops needed rest. Assuming that the relieving armies were near
by, Wurmser made a sortie this day but was repulsed.
This ended the three weeks' campaign.
1. When Alvinczi began his campaign he decided to move in
two columns. Nothing could have been more faulty than this
plan. As soon as he was master of Bassano, he should have
ordered Davidovich to join him and appear on the Adige with a
united army. The defense of the Tyrol might have been left to
2. In occupying Caldiero, he should have established strong
posts in the marshes opposite Ronco. In assuming that the
marshes were impassable he allowed the French to construct a
bridge at Ronco and place an army in his rear.
3. The columns of Alvinczi and Davidovich, although only ten
or twelve leagues apart, were imable to commimicate with each
other. The coimtry above Verona is very rough and has no
practicable cross roads.
4. It is saidthat my bridge should have been made at Albaredo
instead of Ronco. This is wrong. In Verona, Kilmaine had a force
of only 1,500 men; the town might have been taken by assault.
After crossing the river Massena was at once sent up the Adige,
to place himself in rear of Alvinczi. If the Austrian commander
now advanced on Verona, Massena could pursue him. If the
bridge had been constructed at Albaredo,this river and the marshes
would have protected Alvinczi while attacking Verona. The
passage at Ronco was audacious but not dangerous, while that at
Albaredo would have been both rash and dangerous. It would
have compromised the safety of Verona.
5. Why did Napoleon retreat behind the Adige on the nights
of the first and second days? To remove the bridge and intercept
Davidovich on the road to Mantua if necessary. If Davidovich
reached Mantua first, all would have been lost, but if the French
army reached there first, all would have been safe. United
with Vaubois, the general in chief would have defeated Davido-
vich, driven him back to the Tyrol, and been back on the Adige
before Alvinczi could have crossed.
6. ^t is said a bridge should have been thrown over the Alpon
on the first, certainly on the second day. No, it was only on the
third day that the Austrian army was sufficiently discouraged to
warrant it. Even then the generals thought the movement of
the army into the plain east of the Alpon was too hazardous. It
must be remembered that the French army had been weakened by
the battles of the Brenta and Caldiero and by the first and second
days of Arcole.
AUSTRIAN ARMY COMMANDER.
ALYINCZI, Baron Joseph. — Bom in Transylvania, 1735. Distinguished
himself in the Seven Years' War and attained the rank of brigade commander.
In 1789 he commanded a division in the war with the Turks. From 1792 to
1796 he served with distinction in the Netherlands and on the Rhine. In 1808
was made field marshal and died in 1810.
ARMY OF ITALY.— NOV. 12, 1796.
9,540 including 2 regiments of cavalry
8,340 including 1 regiment of cavalry
8,830 including 1 regiment of cavalry
2,750 including 1 regiment of cavalry
1,600 — 6 regiments of cavalry
MIUTARY SITUATION— Immediately after the retreat of
Alvinczi, Napoleon made Joubert brevet general of division and
assigned him to the command of Vaubois' divison, whose numer-
ical strength was restored by reinforcements, with orders to hold
the positions of Corona and Rivoli. Intrenchments and batteries
were constructed at Corona, at Rivoli to command the road con-
necting plateau and river, and on the east bank of the Adige at the
gorge of the river below Rivoli. Massena was posted at Verona
with orders to support Joubert, and Augereau was charged with
the defense of the Adige from Ronco southwards.
The nucleus of a new division was begun at Desenzano, by
placing a brigade of infantry and some cavalry imder the command
of Gen. Rey, who had reported from the Army of the Vend6, with
reinforcements. He was to protect the coimtry west of Lake
Garda. He had a detachment at Lake Idro, some battalions at
Salo, and a detachment at Brescia.
Kilmaine, having become incapacitated for field service, was
assigned to the general command of the region between the Chiese
and Ticino, and Serurier was recalled from Tuscany to take com-
mand of the besieging forces aroimd Mantua. Kilmaine still
retained the general command of the cavalry of the army. Vaubois
was again sent to command the French troops in Tuscany.
Sahuguet being detached to command one of the fortresses in
the rear, Gen. Dumas of the cavalry was temporarily assigned to
command his division.
Napoleon employed the period between his first and second
campaigns against Alvinczi in perfecting his organization.
In each of his principal divisions, the old and the inefficient
officers were ordered to their homes and replaced by the yoimg
officers who had shown the greatest bravery and activity.
The field and horse artillery were reorganized and equipped.
Field works were constructed at exposed points and the perma-
nent works were strengthened by more artillery.
A system of signals, by cannon located at intervals, was arranged
so that warning could be rapidly sent from one division to another
announcing the appearance of the enemy and whether or not
assistance was desired. Courier posts were established for the
rapid transmission of orders in all directions.
Napoleon spent most of his time between the campaigns at
Milan, but was en route to Bologna when the campaign opened.
AUSTRIAN PLAN.— After his first campaign. Gen. Alvinczi
concentrated' the greater part of his army at Roveredo, leaving a
force of 5,000 at Bassano under Gen. Bajalich and a force of 10,000
at Padua imder Gen. Provera. His own force numbered about
28,000, excluding the required garrisons and small detachments
guarding his commimications.
He was urged to relieve Wurmser at once, notwithstanding the
inclement weather, as the garrison of Mantua was reported to be
almost out of rations and would soon be compelled to surrender.
His plan was to divide his Roveredo force into six brigades.
One was to follow the shore of Lake Garda and join the others in
front of Rivoli; two were to follow the moimtain road through
Corona; two were to follow the west bank of the Adige; and one
the east bank. The latter was to throw a bridge across the river
below Rivoli. The field artillery and the cavalry were to follow
the river roads.
To disconcert the French, Provera was to move first and threaten
Legnago. He was provided with a bridge train so that he could
cross the Adige out of range of that place and relieve Mantua,
whose garrison was, if necessary, to retreat across the Po and join
the Papal forces.
Bajalich was to move second and threaten Verona and prevent
its garrison from moving to either flank.
FRENCH FORCES.^Joubert's division of 10,300 men had
its reserves at RivoU and its outposts guarding all the lines of
approach to Rivoli; one brigade was at Corona. Massena, with
9,000 men, was at Verona; Augereau with 9,000 was guarding the
Adige with his troops widely scattered from Verona to Legnago;
Rey with 4,000 men was at Desenzano and Salo. In addition to
these forces there was a cavahy brigade in front of Augereau at
Legnago, one in rear of Verona, and a third at Villafranca. A
demibrigade of infantry, 2,000 men, under Gen. Victor, was also at
Villafranca. The investing force at Mantua was about 10,000 men.
THE CAMPAIGN.— January 7.— Gen. Provera started from
Padua and marched to Este.
Napoleon was in Milan.
January 8. — Provera marched towards Legnago and Bajalich
left Bassano. Augereau was informed of Provera's movement and
prepared to defend the Adige. Napoleon was on his way to
January 9. — Provera attacked Augereau's advance posts about
five miles east of Legnago and drove them back to the Adige.
Bajalich was marching towards Verona. Napoleon probably
reached Bologna on the night of the 9th.
January 10. — Provera waited for his brigade and wagon trains.
Bajalich appeared in front of Verona and at Arcole, and sent some
troops into the mountains north of Verona to get in touch with the
main column. His outposts in front of Verona were attacked by
Massena's cavalry and retired to Caldiero. Alvinczi started the
three brigades which were to move along the lake and on the pla-
teau, for Rivoli.
Napoleon was at Bologna, where he had assembled a brigade
under Gen. Lannes to hold the town against the Papal troops who
were advancing northward. Having heard from Augereau that
the Austrians were in force in front of Legnago, he at once sent
these troops, via Ferrara, to defend the Adige below Legnago.
January 11.— Provera ordered a reconnaissance of the river at
Angiari where he decided to cross the Adige. Bajalich made no
movement. Alvinczi's second and third brigades moved towards
Corona while his first continued its march down the lake. His
fourth brigade reached the Adige opposite Corona.
Napoleon was still at Bologna where he met the representatives
of the Duke of Tuscany.
January 12. — ^Provera ordered a bridge to be thrown over the
Adige at Angiari, but afterwards revoked the order. Bajalich
attacked Massena's outpost close to Verona and captured it. He
was in turn attacked by Massena and forced back to Caldiero.
Alvinczi's second and third brigades reached Corona in the
morning, but through a misunderstanding only one attacked.
The small brigade of French troops, under the personal supervision
of Joubert, stationed there, being well intrenched, was able to
hold its own. The fourth of Alvinczi's brigades was now ordered
to ascend the plateau and join the second and third.
Napoleon left Bologna on the night of the 11th and reached
Roverbella on the morning of the 12th. From the reports received,
he assumed that Provera's was the main attack. He therefore
decided to concentrate on him, cross the Adige, and attack him.
Massena was ordered to hold himself in readiness to move on
Legnago; Victor's reserve infantry demibrigade and the reserve
cavalry brigade were ordered to the road between Legnago and
Mantua; Rey was directed to leave a sufficient force at Salo to
meet any force coming down the west side of Lake Garda and
march to Valeggio with a demibrigade.
Napoleon then went to Verona, where he arrived in time to
witness Massena's counter attack.
January 13. — On the 13th, Provera concentrated his force near
Legnago as if to attack and sent a party some miles down the river
as if to secure a crossing. After dark he moved to Angiari above
Legnago, sent a force across in boats to drive out the small garrison,
and began the construction of a ponton bridge.
Bajalich remained at Caldiero and in the morning defeated a
cavalry force sent on a reconnaissance by Napoleon. At Provera's
request, in the afternoon he went to Arcole to threaten a crossmg.
Alvinczi's second, third and fourth brigades advanced through
Corona and deployed along the Tasso occupying the villages of
Caprino and Martino. The first brigade had only reached Lumini.
The Austrian columns following the Adige valley were on the
same general line as those on the plateau.
During the night of January 12-13, Joubert was informed by his
outposts near Lumini that an Austrian force was advancing to
that point. Leaving his fires burning he retired from Corona in the
early morning and withdrew his forces to the southern ridge north-
west of Rivoli; only observation posts were left on the northern
ridge. In retiring from Corona, a detached battalion was over-
looked and was later captured by the Austrians.
Towards evening, Joubert decided that he was too weak to hold
his position and gave orders to retire to Castelnovo after dark.
Before his troops had moved, however, he received word from
Napoleon that he was coming in person to Rivoli and was sending
Joubert reinforcements to enable him to hold his position.
Napoleon was at Verona that day and was imcertain from which
point to expect the main attack. He knew that Joubert had been
compelled to evacuate Corona and that a large force had appeared
in front of Legnago. He had determined to send Massena and Key
to reinforce one of his flanks, but it was not imtil 3 P. M. that the
reports clearly indicated that the main attack was from the north.
Napoleon was thoroughly familiar with the topography of the
coimtry and knew that at this season of the year the columns
marching down on Rivoli, via the plateau, could be infantry only
with a few moimtain guns, that the field guns and cavalry could
only reach Rivoli by the river roads. If he could, with Joubert's
division, prevent the Austrians from securing the road between the
river and the plateau imtil reinforcements could reach him, he felt
that he could defeat Alvinczi's plan, since neither Bajalich nor
Provera seemed strong enough to cross the Adige.
At 3 P. M. he sent orders to Gen. Victor to move from the
Legnago-Mantua road via Villafranca to Rivoli. Victor fortunately
however started on a more direct and shorter road.
At 5 P. M. he ordered Massena to leave 3,000 of his division at
Verona and send three demibrigades — 6,000 men — ^as soon as
possible to reinforce Joubert. Orders were at the same time sent
to Rey to march with a demibrigade from Valeggio to Castelnovo,
where he would meet a staff officer to guide him, and if the Salo
garrison was not threatened, he was to send a part of it to cross
Lake Garda in boats.
Massena was probably 17 miles from the field; Rey and Victor
were still further; time was necessary for the transmission of the
orders and the preparation of the troops for the march. None
could reach Rivoli imtil the following day.
That night Napoleon himself went to Rivoli and reached Joubert
at 2 A. M.
January 14. — Provera crossed the river and started for Mantua.
Augereau's troops, guarding the river between Verona and Angiari
imder Gen. Guieu, moved down and by their attacks delayed his
movements. Augereau himself was at Legnago; he directed
Lannes to move up to that place.
On the morning of January 14, Alvinczi had three brigades in
front of Joubert and one at Lumini. His fifth brigade was on the
river road with the cavahy and artillery, ready to ascend the
plateau as soon as its path was cleared. The sixth brigade was
still across the Adige, but could easily join the others by throwing
a bridge across the river.
Alvinczi was not satisfied with the advantage he had gained and
instead of ordering his first brigade from Lumini to Caprino,
ordered it to march via Costermano and Affi to seize the ridge
south of Rivoli. This would delay his attack imtil the afternoon.
In the morning the three brigades in front of Joubert were to com-
plete their deployment and occupy the ridge from Ceredele to San
When Napoleon reached Rivoli, it was moonlight and he was
able to reconnoiter the position. He at once decided that to pre-
vent the union of the Austrian columns, Joubert must hold the
ridge at San Marco and extend his left along the ridge towards
Trombalora. Even if driven from this advanced position he would
gain time for the arrival of Massena and Victor.
At dawn, Joubert left 1,500 men to hold his second line and man
the fortifications commanding the river road, and with about
8,500 moved out to the line selected by Napoleon. He conducted
^ the right of his line in person. He had hardly reached San Marco
before an Austrian brigade approached to occupy it. This brigade
was attacked and after a severe engagement was driven back.
On the Trombalora ridge the French line was outflanked by the
right brigade of the Austrian line and Joubert's left wing was
defeated and retreated in a panic. The Austrians were rolling up
the center when Massena appeared with his first demibrigade.
Massena at once attacked the Austrian brigade in flank, drove it
from the field and reestablished the French left.
Before the arrival of Massena, Alvinczi saw the French left
retreating and sent his center and left brigades against Joubert at
San Marco. This attack compelled Joubert to fall back to the
southern ridge while Massena was restoring the left of his line on
the northern ridge.
Arriving at the head of the road leading down into the Adige
valley with Joubert, Napoleon saw that his fortified line in the
valley was carried and the Austrians were advancing up the road
in a dense column, whose head had reached the plateau.
A regiment of cavalry held in reserve charged the head of the Aus-
trian column and was supported by Joubert with such infantry as
he could rally. This attack, supported by artillery, was successful
and the Austrians retreated to the valley to reform.
Then, turning to the Austrian brigades which had followed him
from San Marco, Joubert held them in front while Massena, who
had been joined by his second demibrigade, attacked them in
flank. The Austrians were in turn surprised and a sudden charge
of French cavalry caused them to break and retire to their morning
The first Austrian brigade had pursued its way unmolested and
was now on the ridge south of Rivoli.
Leaving Joubert to face the Austrians north of him, Massena
took one demibrigade to attack this brigade. In marching to the
attack, he was joined by his third demibrigade, which he had sent
via Garda to reconnoiter the road along the lake leading to Pes-
chiera. Finding no Austrians at Garda, this brigade marched to
The commander of the Austrian brigade tried to retreat via
Affi, running the gauntlet between Massena and Victor, who was
approaching Affi from the south. Many of his command were
captured and those who escaped ran into and were captured by
Gen. Murat who had crossed the lake from Salo with its garrison
and had landed at Torri.
The Austrian brigades which had recrossed the Tasso north of
Rivoli were not pursued since night was falling and Napoleon had
just learned that Provera had crossed the Adige at Angiari.
Napoleon now considered Alvinczi defeated and at once ordered
two demibrigades of Massena's division and Victor's demibrigade
to make a night march to Mantua to assist Serurier.
Of Massena's division, one demibrigade, and of Rey's division,
Murat's battalions of the Salo garrison, remained with Joubert.
A demibrigade of Rey's division was en route for the field from
Valeggio and would be up the in morning.
January 15. — On the 15th, Provera continued his march for
Mantua, but was delayed en route by the reserve cavalry brigade
and Gen. Guieu.
He sent his advance guard to communicate with Wurmser, but
the commander of this guard found the French investing force
strongly intrenched and being himself repulsed was unable to
communicate with Wurmser.
Augereau, reinforced by Lannes, moved up to Angiari to attack
the rear guard left by Provera to protect his bridge. This rear
guard attempted to join the main body, but was cut off and cap-
tured. Augereau then burned the Austrian bridge and started
That night Napoleon was at Roverbella with two demibrigades
of the command which had marched from Rivoli; the other demi-
brigade was en route from Castelnovo.
Joubert, on the morning of the 15th, had in his front only three
Austrian brigades. He had been reinforced as above stated from
the divisions of Massena and Rey, and was directed by Napoleon
to take the offensive.
He first took the hill at San Marco shortly after daylight; then,
pivoting on that hill, tiuned the Austrian right. He thus cut their
line of retreat to Corona and compelled the Austrians to retreat
over the mountains to the Adige. His victory was decisive and he
captured several thousand prisoners. This closed the two days'
battle of Rivoli.
January 16. — Provera appeared before Mantua in the morning,
and was here attacked by Massena, Victor, Guieu and Serurier.
Being cut off from Mantua with no hope of retreat, he surrendered
his remaining force of 7,000 men at 11 A. M. This engagement
was known as the battle of Favorita.
This ended the eight days' campaign. Alvinczi retreated to
Roveredo and Bajalich to Bassano.
Alvinczi had sent a small raiding force down the west side of
Lake Garda; this reached the vicinity of Brescia but was then
compelled to retreat without doing any damage.
On February 2, Wurmser surrendered Mantua. General Wurm-
ser with his staff, the general officers with their staffs, and an escort
of 700 men were allowed to return to Austria. The remaining
15,000 became prisoners of war. A large part of the Austrian
garrison died of fever during the siege.
1. Alvinczi had for the campaign of Rivoli about 50,000 men
and 120 pieces of artillery. He moved one half of his army, with
all his artillery, down the valley of the Adige. The column on the
east bank was stopped by a hundred men in the fort controlling
the gorge of the Adige below Rivoli. The column which followed
the west bank of the Adige was on the narrow shelf between the
bluffs and the river. Its only exit was the road which ascends the
bluffs at the plateau of Rivoli near the chapel of San Marco. This
road is commanded on the north side by the height of San Marca
and on the south by the plateau of Rivoli. With 25,000 men,^
without artillery and cavalry, Alvinczi expected to drive back the
French army from Corona to Rivoli and there unite with the
columns which moved along the valley. He believed that he
would have only the division of Joubert to overcome and therefore
again separated his command, sending one column down between
Lake Garda and the mountains. Such a plan would be correct if
armies were like moimtains, immovable. This was the mistake
frequently made by the Austrians. In this case it was assumed that
Massena would remain quietly at Verona. It assumed that Napo-^
leon did not appreciate the value of the position at Rivoli.
2. What should Alvinczi have done? Marched his army so as
to permit him to fight it every day, every hour. His whole force
should have marched between Lake Garda and the Adige, united
by communications and acting as a single mass. Similarly he
should have united his cavalry, since cavalry can go wherever
infantry can. He should have made his dispositions to attack
Joubert only on the morning of the attack, when he had full infor-
mation as to his troops and dispositions.
3. It is a principle of war to make no detachments on the eve of
making an attack, since the condition of things may change by the
retreat of the enemy, or the arrival of reinforcements which will
enable him to take up the offensive and render dangerous the
premature dispositions that have been made.
4. One is often deceived in war as to the strength of the enemy;
prisoners know only their corps, officers make imcertain reports.
5. This axiom will remedy everything. Let an army be every
day, every night, every hour ready to oppose all the resistance it
is capable of offering. To this end soldiers must always have their
arms and ammimition; infantry should always have its artillery,
cavahy , and its generals ; the different divisions should be constantly
disposed to support each other; in camps, at halts, on the
march, the troops should always be in favorable positions, which
have the qualities demanded by a field of battle, viz., flanks sup-
ported and all the arms in the position best suited for them. For
this purpose, there must be advance guards and flankers, far
enough off to allow the main corps to deploy.
6. A great captain should ask himself several times each day,
what would I do if the enemy suddenly appeared on my front, on
my right flank, on my left flank? If he finds himself embarrassed
to answer these questions, as a rule he is badly placed and should
correct his position. If Alvinczi had said, "What if I meet the
French army before I reach Rivoli, when I have but half my
infantry without cavalry or artillery?" he would have replied, "I
shall be beaten by forces inferior to my own." Why was not he
made more careful by Lodi, Castiglione, the Brenta and Arcole?
7. Alvinczi debouched in January. Mantua was held at bay.
He operates with two columns; the first from the north commanded
by himself; the other on the lower Adige, commanded by Provera.
The success of Provera would be of no value, were Alvinczi de-
feated. This fault was aggravated by a central attack on Verona,
which had no other end than that of weakening the main attacks.
It is true the Austrian authorities ordered Wurmser, in case he was
relieved by Provera, to cross the Po and retreat on Rome. Unless,
however, he could count on the assistance of the king of Naples,
this movement would have been of no value.
8. Having succeeded in throwing a bridge over the Adige,
Provera should have ordered the force threatening Verona to join
him; this would have greatly strengthened him. As it was, he
not only left this force behind, but he also left a guard at his bridge
which he should have taken up. The guard was captured. On
arriving before Mantua in the morning, he should at once have
forced an entrance. He did nothing that day; in the evening
Napoleon with the troops from Rivoli began to arrive and on the
following day he was obliged to capitulate. The Austrians did
not appreciate the value of time.
9. Napoleon should have occupied the plateaus of Rivoli,
Corona, San Marco and Rocca d'Anfo, by good fortifications in
wood and masonry. In six weeks these four forts might have been
constructed. Each with a garrison of 400 or 500 men and 15 guns
would have protected these places from surprise. They would
have been worth more to the army than a reinforcement of 15,000
FRENCH GENERALS OF DIVISION.
JOUBERT, Barthelemy Catherine.— Born 1769. Entered volunteers as
sergeant 1791; general of brigade 1795; general of division 1797; 1798 com-
manded in succession the armies of Holland, Mayence and Italy. Resigned this
last command but was reappointed in 1799 after the army had suffered many
reverses and was killed in his battle at Novi, August 1799. Served in Army of
"He was bold, vigilant, active. Had he lived he would have attained great
military renown." — Napoleon at St. Helena.
REY, Antoine Gabriel.— Bom 1768. Enlisted in army under Louis XVI,
lieutenant 1791, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795. Served with
distinction in armies of the Rhine, of the West and of Italy. He did not approve
of the coup d'etai by means of which Napoleon made himself First Consul
and was relieved from command. Restored in 1808 and served in Spain from
1808 to 1814. In 1815 was commander of Valenciennes which he defended
after Waterloo. Retired from service 1820. Died 1836.
AUSTRIAN ARMY— NOVEMBER 1796.
Alvinczi — General in Chief.
Hohenzollem, Roselmini, Liptai 28,699
Schubirz, Brabeck, Pittoni
Laudon, Ocskay, Spork, Vukassevich 18,427
ARMY OF ITALY— JANUARY 1, 1797.
8,851 including 2 regiments of cavalry
8,851 including 4 regiments of cavahy
10,250 including 1 regiment of cavalry
4,156 including 2 regiments of cavalry
10,230 including 2 regiments of cavahy
658 2 regiments
1,800 including 1 regiment of cavahy
NAPOLEON AND ARCHDUKE CHARLES.
MILITARY SITUATION.— The second campaign against
Alvinczi terminated on the 17th of January and on the following
day detachme?ats were made from the divisions of Massena, Aug-
ereau and the cavalry to imite with Victor's brigade near Ferrera
and form a division for the invasion of the Papal states. This
division was to be commanded by Gen. Victor.
Napoleon's next step was to clear the Brenta valley of Aus-
trians. On January 20, Massena's division moved to Vicenza and
Augereau's to Padua. From these positions they moved to Bas-
sano and Cittadella. Massena pushed detachments up the Brenta
valley. This movement caused Alvinczi with a large part of his
command to retreat from Roveredo to the Piave via Feltre and
enabled Joubert to reoccupy Trent and Lavis without opposition
When Wurmser surrendered Mantua on February 2, Joubert
was at Trent, Massena at Bassano, Augereau at Castelfranca and
Napoleon with Victor at Bologna.
After the surrender, Augereau was sent in person to present the
sixty colors, captured in Mantua, to the French government and
Rey was directed to escort the prisoners to the French frontier.
Gen. Guieu succeeded to the command of Augereau's division
and Gen. Baraguey-d'Hilliers to the troops of Rey's division that
remained with the army.
Napoleon continued his movement against the Papal states.
Without opposition Victor moved down to Ancona on the Adriatic
Sea and thence over the moimtains towards Rome. En route to
Rome, Napoleon was met by the Papal representatives and on
February 19, came to terms with them. He at once made arrange-
ments to hold the Papal states east of the Apennines, now imder
French protection, by small garrisons and withdraw his main body
as soon as the conditions of the treaty were fulfilled. He person-
ally returned to the army to begin a new campaign.
As a result of Napoleon's persistent applications for reinforce-
ments, and because of his uninterrupted victories, the Directory
in November ordered twelve demibrigades — thirty-six battalions
under Gens. Bemadotte and Delmas — to be sent him from the
armies in France. The last of these troops were now reaching the
Quadrilateral and Napoleon was anxious to begin his new cam-
paign before the Austrian army could be similarly reinforced.
When the reinforcements reached him the battalions were about
600 men each.
Napoleon's general plan was to divide his army into two wings.
Joubert with about 20,000 men was to be left at Trent to await
orders. Napoleon with about 40,000 was to advance in the plain
between the mountains and the Adriatic on the roads leading to
The campaign opened on the 10th of March when the French
troops were posted as follows: The divisions of Joubert, Baraguey
and Delmas, 18,500 men, constituted the left wing in the vicinity
of Trent; Baraguey was at the head of the Brenta valley. The
divisions of Massena, Guieu, Serurier and Bemadotte, 43,000 men,
constituted the right wing. Massena was at Bassano, Guieu at
Castelfranco, Serurier near Castelfranco and Bemadotte at Padua.
About 2,000 men were left on the Adige and 1,500 in Mantua.
Although Mantua had surrendered, the Austrian government
was still unwilling to make peace and again sought to strengthen
its army in Italy. Alvinczi was relieved from command at his
own request and Archduke Charles, who had been successful in
Germany, was sent to relieve him. The Archduke first visited the
Tyrol and reached Italy just as Napoleon was about to open the
campaign. He found the Austrian troops disorganized and morally
weakened by their many defeats. He decided that it was impos-
sible to attempt more than the defense of the frontier, until he
could receive reinforcements and reorganize his army. Leaving a
brigade on the lower Brenta to watch the crossings and a brigade
at Feltre to guard the moimtain road connecting the Piave and
Drave valleys, he withdrew his main body behind the Tagliamento
At this time the Austrian troops on the Tagliamento were organ-
ized into six brigades of about 4,000 men each. To protect his
communications with Vienna there were two small brigades of
perhaps 1,500 to 2,000 each in the gorge of the Tagliamento south
of Pontafel (Pontebba), and in the gorge of the Isonzo south of
Tarvis. It was believed by the Archduke that both of these
detachments would be strongly reinforced by detachments coming
from Vienna before the French could reach them.
The Archduke did not feel strong enough to resist Napoleon, for
whose abilities he had great respect, but decided to remain on the
Tagliamento and retard the French troops as much as possible.
He had already decided on his plan of retreat, which was to be
towards Triest; possibly because Napoleon had threatened to
destroy that port, and possibly to compel Napoleon to follow a
longer route than the direct route to Vienna through Tarvis and
thus give more time for the Austrian reuif orcements to reach that
CAMPAIGN. — March 10. — On March 10, Massena opened
the campaign by moving up the Brenta valley to Primolano and
thence over the moimtains to Feltre. On the following days he
pursued the Austrian brigade which had been at Feltre beyond the
town of Bellimo and captured the commander and a fifth of his
The other three divisions crossed the Piave without opposition
on the Treviso road on the 12th, and on the 15th were on the
Tagliamento. From Bellimo, Massena was ordered to cross the
mountains to the Tagliamento but was imable to do so. He was
compelled to move southward to the plain and thence to the
Tagliamento, arriving there on the 17th.
March 16. — ^Without waiting for Massena's arrival, the other
three divisions crossed the Tagliamento, which happened to be
low and fordable. After a short resistance, the Austrian army
retreated as previously planned — 5,000 men under Gen. Bajalich
with the army trains took the road for Tarvis via Udine and
Caporetto, while the Archduke with the remainder of his army
retreated towards the Isonzo at Gorz and Gradisca.
March 17. — Napoleon now decided to seize the direct road to
Vienna and ordered Massena, who had joined him, to march up
the Tagliamento valley and seize Tarvis. In order that Joubert
might join him there, orders were sent Joubert to advance via
Botzen to Brixen whence a road ran eastward through the Drave
valley to Villach.
Bemadotte, Serurier and Guieu were ordered to follow the
Archduke towards Triest.
March 19. — ^Massena forced the gorge of the Tagliamento 18
miles south of Pontafel held by 2,000 Austrians. Bemadotte and
Serurier captured the fortified town of Gradisca with its garrison
of one brigade. Guieu was on the Udine-Gorz road to their north.
March 20. — ^Massena entered Pontafel without opposition.
Bemadotte and Serurier marched on Gorz by the east bank of the
Isonzo while Guieu moved northward to enter the Isonzo valley
at Caporetto and join Massena at Tarvis.
March 21. — Massena's advance guard reached Tarvis 22 miles
from Pontafel and drove out a small Austrian garrison but was in
tum driven out by the advance guard of the Austrian column
moving up the Isonzo escorting the Austrian army trains.
Napoleon remained at Gorz while Bemadotte and Serurier
moved on the road towards Laibach. The reserve cavalry bri-
gade moved to Triest to take possession of that port.
March 22. — ^Massena recaptured Tarvis early in the moming
and prevented the exit from the Isonzo valley of one-half of
Bajalich's column. Guieu was moving up the Isonzo valley from
March 23. — Bajalich's force in the Isonzo valley caught between
Massena and Guieu surrendered with the army train of 30 guns
and 400 wagons.
March 25. — Gen. Serurier being too ill to command his division,
it fell to Gen. Chabot who was ordered to move up the Isonzo
valley to Tarvis.
March 26. — Napoleon had remained at Gorz from the 21st to
the 26th to organize a government. On the 26th he turned over
the government to Bemadotte and started for Tarvis.
March 28. — Napoleon reached Tarvis and pushed on to Villach
where he found most of his troops. At this time Joubert was at
Brixen, with Delmas' division at Botzen. The Archduke was at
Klagenfurt, where a part of his troops from Laibach and reinforce-
ments from Vienna had joined him. These added to the troops
defeated by Massena gave him a force of 13,000 to 14,000 men.
March 29 to April 17. — The divisions of Massena, Guieu and
Chabot moved out from Villach March 29, and pursued the Aus-
trian forces as far as Leoben. There were several rear guard actions
in the mountain passes.
On April 7, Napoleon was at Judenburg 150 miles from Vienna,
and his advance guard at Leoben, 116 miles from that capital.
Bemadotte had joined him via Laibach and Klagenfurt.
On the 31st of March, Napoleon had written to the Archduke
suggesting peace; and on April 7, an armistice was arranged
between the military commanders. This practically ended the
campaign of less than one month..
On April 17, an agreement was signed by the representatives of
the two governments providing for the termination of hostilities
and a peace conference.
While Napoleon was advancing from the Tagliamento, Joubert,
in accordance with his orders, advanced through Botzen to Brixen
where he waited for further orders. He left a division at Botzen
and a detachment at Trent.
The Austrians now began to attack him and he was placed in
an embarassing position by the concentration of a superior Aus-
trian force in front of Botzen, which threatened his communi-
He was relieved from his embarassment by the arrival of a
French officer in disguise, who had made his way from Villach.
Joubert at once, April 3, called in the division from Botzen and
started for Villach April 5, 140 miles distant.
On April 10, he reached Spital — ^24 miles from Villach — ^where
he met a French force sent by Napoleon, and learned of the
After the signing of the armistice between the two governments,
Massena was sent to Paris to present it to the government
and the French army withdrew from Austrian territory.
1. The Archduke, desiring to cover Vienna and Triest, should
have united his forces in the Tyrol, where the inhabitants and the
topography of the country would have assisted him and where he
could easily receive assistance from the Austrian army on the
Rhine. As long as he maintained himself in the Tyrol, he had no
reason to fear a French advance beyond the Isonzo. If the French
general advanced eastward from the Piave, the Archduke could
advance along the Adige; this would compel the French general
to concentrate to meet this movement. A successful movement
by the French against the Archduke in the Tyrol would have been
2. The Archduke, in taking up his position on the Tagliamento,
should have adopted the road up the Tagliamento as his line of
retreat. It should have been evident to him that Napoleon was
planning to seize Tarvis.
3. After the fight on the Tagliamento, it was a mistake for him
to send any troops towards Tarvis, as it was almost certain that
Massena would reach there first. It was equally useless for him
to leave any troops at Gradisca after marching his main force to
the rear. These troops were only sacrificed.
4. Was not the march of the French army by its two lines of
operation contrary to the principle that an army should have but
one line of operations? Was not the uniting of these two columns
near Villach in violation of the principle never to unite columns in
front of or near the enemy? Would it not have been better to
have given Napoleon 10,000 more, and Joubert 10,000 less, and
ordered the latter to act strictly on the defensive? By this plan,
war in the Tyrol, a difficult field of operations, would have been
avoided; the dangers attending a concerted movement would also
have been avoided, and at the outset, all the troops would have
None of the above principles was violated. It would have been
very unwise to have left Joubert with a small force and made it
possible for the Austrians to drive him back and reach Verona
before the French reached Villach. It was wiser to make him
strong enough to assume the offensive and drive the Austrians
over the Brenner pass.
We did not enter Austria by two lines, since the road from Trent
to Villach, via Botzen and Brixen, is on the south side of the main
chain of the Alps. Joubert made no movement imtil the Taglia-
mento was crossed and the possession of Tarvis was assured. After
that, it was impossible for the Archduke to so maneuver as to
prevent the imion of the two wings of the army.
FRENCH GENERALS OF DIVISION.
BARAGUEY-d'HILLIERS, Louis.— Born 1764. Entered army in 1783 as
cadet, lieut. colonel 1787, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1797.
Served in the Army of the Rhine, in the Army of Italy in 1797, in Egypt 1798,
in the Army of the Rhine in 1800, in the campaign of Austerlitz. in 1808-1809-
1810 in Italy, in 1812 in Russia. Died in Berlin 1812.
! BERNADOTTE, Charles Jean.— Bom in France 1764. Enlisted in the
army in 1781, sergeant 1789, chief of battalion of volunteers 1792, general of
brigade 1793, general of division 1794, minister of war 1799, marshal 1804.
Served along the Rhine in the early part of French Revolution, joined the Army
of Italy in 1797. As conmiander of the I army corps took part in the campaigns
of Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau and Friedland 1805-1807. In 1810 was elected by the
Swedish states to succeed Charles XIII and as Prince Royal engaged with the
allies in the campaigns of 1813-1814 against France. Under the French empire
he was made Prince of Ponte Corvo, became king of Sweden in 1818 as Charles
XIV. Died 1844.
CHABOT, Louis Jean.— Born 1764. Entered army 1754, captain 1792,
general of brigade 1793, general of division 1795. Served in the Army of the
West, conmianded a division of the besieging army at Mantua when Wurmser
surrendered, served in Spain 1808 and 1809, joined the Bourbons in 1814 and
did not retiun to Napoleon in 1815. Died 1837.
DELMAS, Antoine Guillaume. — Entered army in 1780, chief of battalion
1891, general of brigade 1793, general of division 1793. Served in the Army of
the Rhine, served in the Army of Italy in 1797. Under the Empire he was
relieved from conmiand because he was a friend of Gen. Moreau but later
was restored. — Fatally 'wounded at Leipsic 1813.
DUMAS, Thomas Alexander.— Bom 1762 in San Domingo. Entered army
in 1786, lieut. colonel of cavalry 1789, general of brigade 1793, general of division
1793. Served in the Army of the West, in the Army of Italy in 1797, in Egypt
in 1798, captured on his return voyage and imprisoned in Naples for two years.
On his return to France he was opposed to Napoleon as First Consul and relieved
from command. Died 1806. Father of Alexander Dumas.
GUIEU, Jean Joseph.— Bom 1758. Enlisted in artillery in 1780, chief of
battalion 1792, chief of brigade and general of brigade 1793, general of division
1797, retired 1798, died 1817. His principal service was with the Army of Italy
in the divisions of Sauret, Vaubois and Augereau.
VICTOR, Claude.— Bom 1764. Entered the army as drummer in 1781 and
served until 1789. Entered the volunteers as a private in 1792, chief of bat-
talion in 1793, and general of brigade for conduct in siege of Toulon in 1793,
general of division in 1796, marshal in 1807. He served in the Army of the
Pyrenees 1793-5, in that of Italy 1796-7 and in 1799, in the Reserve Army 1800,
temporarily commander of the I and X corps in 1807 and as commander of
former participated in the battle of Friedland; served with distinction in Spain
1809, took an active part in the campaign of Moscow and in those of 1813 and
1814 which followed it. Upon Napoleon's abdication he offered his services to
Louis XVIII. and retired from France during the Hundred Days. He was
afterwards minister of war, but retired from public service after the revolution
of 1830. He died in 1841. During the Empire he was made Duke of Bellimo.
AUSTRIAN ARMY COMMANDER.
CHARLES, Ludwig, Archduke of Austria.— Bom 1771. In 1792-1794 took
an active part in campaigns and battles of Jemappes, Aldenhoven, Neerwinden,
Landrecies, Toumay, Courtray and Fleurus. In 1796 commander of Army of
Rhine drove Jourdan and Moreau across Rhine and captured Kehl. In 1797
commander of Italian army. In 1799 commander Rhine army and defeated
Jourdan in four battles. Conmiander of Italian Army in 1805, and of the Aus-
trian army on the Danube 1809. Defeated by Napoleon in the campaigns of
1797 and 1809.
ARMY OF ITALY— MARCH 5, 1797.
Right Wing — Napoleon.
Artillery and eng
Total, right wing,
Artillery and engineers
ORGANZATION OF THE ARMY OF ITALY.
INFANTRY.— In 1794, the two-battalion regiments of the
regular French army were abolished by the following decree: —
"The infantry shall be formed into demibrigades, each
containing one of the battalions of the former regiments
of the line (regulars) and two battalions of volimteers (of
1792 and 1793). The demibrigade shall have 2,437 men
and six 4-pounder guns."
One hundred and forty demibrigades were authorized.
As the troops were in active campaign, this transformation took
time, and all the battalions were not incorporated in demibrigades
when Napoleon took command of the Army of Italy. There was
also confusion in numbering the demibrigades and many of those
in the army had their number changed during the campaign.
The demibrigade was commanded by a chef de brigade (colonel)
who was assisted by a junior chef de brigade (lieutenant colonel).
Each battalion was commanded by a chef de bataillon (major)
and was composed of nine companies with four officers each.
The infantry was of two classes — infantry of the line and light
infantry. About one-fourth of the demibrigades were light
Each battalion had nine companies of which one was an elite
company whose officers and men were selected and received
higher pay than those of like rank in the other companies. That
of the line battalions was called the grenadier company and that
of the light infantry the carabinier company. These companies
did not fight in line or column with the other companies, but were
reserved for special tasks.
The line infantry formed the line of battle and against infantry
employed the bayonet in attack and the musket in defense. The
light infantry was for skirmishing and mountain warfare and
relied principally on fire action and on rapid marching.
One of the changes made by Napoleon in the infantry during
his Italian operations was to arm with muskets the lieutenants and
sergeants of the light infantry and the sergeants of line infantry,
who had formerly carried swords. Another was to give rifles to
the carabinier companies of the light infantry.
Napoleon was a strict advocate of the bayonet. He fixed a fine
for the loss of the bayonet, which was to be expended in purchasing
new ones. "The bayonet has always been the arm of the brave
man and the principal instrument of victory. It is the arm best
suited to the French soldier."
Of the many infantry officers, who afterwards rose to higher
rank, the most conspicuous was Lannes who began as chef de
bataillon and for his conspicuous bravery, rose to general of brigade
in these campaigns. Rampon rose from chef de brigade to general
of brigade for his defense of Monte Legino.
CAVALRY. — The cavalry of the French army was composed of
regiments of cavalry, hussars, dragoons and chasseurs — ^86 in all.
The cavalry regiments were of the cuirrassier class, intended for
the battlefield; the hussars were the light cavalry for outpost
duty against cavalry; the dragoons were analogous to the line
infantry having carbines with bayonets; the chasseurs were anal-
ogous to the light infantry and carried the carbine without
All the cavalry was formed into regiments of four squadrons of
160 men each.
When Napoleon took command of the army, his cavalry con-
sisted of eleven regiments: — 2 of hussars, 5 of chasseurs and 4 of
dragoons. Two or more regiments formed a brigade. At the
beginning of his operations he formed them into two divisions,
but after the death of General Stengel he formed them into brigades
of which one was always in reserve and the others were attached
to the infantry divisions.
He also organized the guides, his own personal escort, which in
these campaigns was only a squadroti. The guides were later
employed in his Egyptian campaign, and then became the nucleus
of the consular and imperial guard.
Until Napoleon took command, all the operations of the Army
of Italy had taken place in the mountains, where cavalry was
difficult to maintain and where it had a limited field of action.
Napoleon at first distrusted its field and regimental officers
because of their limited experience, and wrote at once for three
young adjutants-general, who had seen service in the cavalry, been
under fire, and were resolved not to make skilful retreats. These
were to serve on the staff of the chief of cavalry.
He also applied at once for horse artillery, which had been intro-
duced into the French service in 1792, as he did not care to expose
his cavalry to the Austrian cavahy without the support of thi&
The most conspicuous service performed by the cavalry was its
reconnaissance work, for which it was especially suited.
Some of the most skilful cavalry leaders of the Napoleonic era
had their first lessons of real warfare in these campaigns.
Murat became brigadier general when Stengel was killed. Bes-
sieres had command of the guides. Lasalle won his first important
advancement at Rivoli.
Of the cavalry officers of the old royal army, Gens. Stengel,.
Dumas and Beaumont served with distinction.
ARTILLERY.— In 1796 the French army had eight regular
regiments of light and siege artillery of twenty companies each,
and eight regular regiments of horse artillery of nine companies
each. Each demibrigade of infantry was expected to have six
light guns, two to a battalion, managed by a company of volunteer
The Army of Italy had in 1796 very little effective light artillery
and no horse artillery.
In the French army at this time, the horses and drivers of the
artillery were furnished and maintained by contractors, or the
horses were purchased and the men hired by the supply department
of the army, as in our own wagon and pack trains. They did not
belong to the artillery proper.
The Army of Italy was very weak in transportation and fought
its first battles largely with the demibrigade light guns, probably
drawn by the troops.
After the French captured Lodi, Napoleon established his artil-
lery depot there and began the organization of his field artillery..
For his advance on the Mincio in May, he was able to furnish
each of his four infantry divisions with a light battery of six guns
and his cavalry with a similar battery. The pieces were 3-poun-
ders, 5-pounders, 8-pounders and field howitzers. To secure
drivers he called on each of his infantry divisions for 100 men.
The horses were obtained by requisition.
He continued to improve this arm and in the spring of 1797, its
organization was as follows: —
Each infantry division had two batteries of artillery; one bat-
tery was light artillery, and the other horse or moimtain, depend-
ing upon its field of operations.
The battery, or division as it was called, was composed of six
guns and six caissons. Because of the variety of pieces in the
army, one platoon in each battery had 3-, 4-, or 5-pounders,
another 11- or 12-pounders, and the third howitzers. The per-
sonnel of each battery consisted of 72 cannoneers, of whom 32
belonged to some regular artillery company and the remainder
to some volimteer company. The remaining men of the two com-
panies from whom these were drawn were attached to the artillery
The drivers and horses of the battery formed a distinct organi-
zation, called a train brigade under the charge of a conducteur and
were also divided into three platoons. Two inspectors supervised
the artillery trains of the army.
Besides these divisional batteries, he organized as many similar
batteries for an artillery reserve a§ possible.
Under his chief of artillery there was an assistant chief in charge
of the field, and one of the siege artillery.
His most efficient artillery officer was General Lespinasse who
rose under him from colonel to general of division for his service
in the Army of Italy. He was at the time sixty years old and had
had a high reputation in his corps. Napoleon said of him "He was
one of those generals of artillery who love best to be with the
Of the younger officers of artillery who later became famous,
the most conspicuous was Marmont, who was lieutenant and aide
of Napoleon and rose to chef de brigade during the campaigns. He
was frequently intrusted by Napoleon with placing the artillery
in position on the battlefield.
The pontoniers, who then formed a branch of the artillery, were
under Gen. Andreossy (1761-1828) who joined the Army of Italy
as a chef de bataillon in the artillery. As Napoleon had no bridge
train before Lodi, it was Andreossy who organized this branch of
the service engaging sailors for this purpose. He also organized
flotillas on Lake Garda and on the lakes around Mantua.
When Napoleon entered the campaign against Archduke Charles
he had two complete bridge trains with the army besides a number
of floating bridges across the rivers on his lines of communication.
For his service in the Army of Italy, Andreossy was promoted
to general of brigade.
ENGINEERS.— At the outbreak of the French revolution the
French corps of engineers consisted only of a corps of officers. In
1794 the six battalions of miners and twelve battalions of sappers
were transferred from the artillery to the engineers.
When Napoleon took command, there were small detachments
of both miners and sappers but without proper organization. His
first step was to organize a strong company of engineer troops
capable of performing all kinds of technical work.
Having no officers educated at the engineer school of Mezieres,
Colonel Chasseloup (1754-1833), one of the most distinguished
engineers in the army, was sent him. He took charge of siege
operations at Milan and Mantua and reconstructed the fortifica-
tions of Verona, Legnago, Peschiera, Padua and many other
Italian cities. He acted with Lespinasse in fortifying the lines of
the covering army of Mantua and with Andreossy in establishing
and defending the bridges.
For his services at Mantua he was promoted to general of
brigade and later to general of division.
"He was one of the best officers of his corps; of imeven character
but with a complete knowledge of all the resources of his art." —
Napoleon at St. Helena.
Napoleon formed small pioneer detachments in each battalion
of infantry by equipping four men with axes, two with spades and
two with picks. Bayonets were attached to the handles of these
tools for defense.
BRIGADE. — Two demibrigades of infantry formed a brigade
commanded by a general of brigade. The number of generals of
brigades usually exceeded the nxmiber of brigades and it was a
common custom for generals of brigade to lead a demibrigade in
battle, or command it on the march.
DIVISION. — The infantry division of the French army was,
like the infantry division of to-day, a complete unit with all arms.
The composition of the division both in infantry and cavalry was
changed to meet the requirements of the duty it was directed to
perform. It was commanded by a general of division, who was
assisted by several adjutants-general.
In the course of his operations Napoleon established a base for
each infantry division and for his cavalry, in the cities between the
Mincio and Ticino rivers. OflScers and men reporting from sick
leave or the hospitals, recruits and general supplies, were sent to
these bases, thus reducing the confusion at the front.
THE GENERAL STAFF.— The general staff of the army con-
sisted of a chief of staff and a number of adjutants-general assigned
as chief of staff of divisions, or simply as aids to these chiefs of
staff. They had the rank of chef de brigade or chef de batailUm.
They had charge of the military correspondence, reports, recon-
naissance work, map making, inspections, etc. They frequently
led columns in battle and several of them became generals of
SUPPLY. — ^The supply of the armies was by contract. All
officials of the supply and pay departments were civilians and had
no military status. The officials of this department were both
inefficient and corrupt, and as Napoleon states, made the expense
of the army about five times what it should have been, besides
reducing its efficiency by irregularity in supplying food, forage and
pay; notwithstanding the heavy requisitions made upon the
country in which he was operating. Napoleon struggled in vain
to correct the abuses pf this department by discharging and im-
prisoning its employees. They requisitioned without authority
and sold the supplies belonging to the government and the army
for their own benefit.
FRENCH SYSTEM OF TACTICS.
The normal formation of the line infantry was in three ranks
and in two lines.
In the attack, the battalions were in mass with a two-company
front and a depth of twelve men. The interval between battalion
columns was that of six companies in line. In defense, the battal-
ions of the first line were in line, the third rank forming local
reserves. The battalions of the second line were in mass.
The normal formation of the light infantry was in two ranks.
In the attack, the light infantry was deployed in front of the
line battalions, forming a skirmish line with yard intervals.
Firing as they advanced, they concealed the line battalions by
a cloud of smoke and when they arrived at fifty yards from the
enemy they gathered in the intervals between the line battalions
and kept up their fire to cover the attack or permit the withdrawal
of the line troops.
The line battalions advanced steadily at an ordinary pace — the
leading companies with guns at the charge and the others at the
shoulder — ^until the enemy's line was reached, when the rear com-
panies rushed up to carry the point of the enemy's line in front of
the battalion with fixed bayonets.
The second line advanced about 250 yards in rear of the first
to reinforce . its attack.
The grenadiers marched on the flank of the battalion to protect
it from flank attack and the cavalry was on the flanks to guard
the whole from flank attacks by the enemy's cavalry. If not
successfully protected by cavalry, the battalions halted and
formed squares until the enemy's cavalry was driven off.
The battalion guns were placed in the intervals between bat-
talions and advanced with the light infantry.
Napoleon did not follow blindly any system of tactics. At
Arcole, which was a fight of the heads of columns, Napoleon placed
his grenadiers in front of each colimm. He usually massed his
guns on what he considered the key points of the enemy's line.
Thus, at Castiglione, he placed 20 guns in a single battery under
Marmont; these largely contributed to his victory.
DISCIPUNE IN THE ARMY OF ITALY.
When Napoleon took command of the Army of Italy at Nice,
he issued the following circular March 27, 1796.
"Soldiers, you are naked, and starving; the government
owes you much and can give you nothing. The patience
and the courage you show amongst these rocks are admir-
able, but no glory, not even a ray, can shine upon you. I
am going to lead you into the most fertile plains of the
world. Rich provinces, great cities will be in your power;
there you will find honor, glory and riches. Soldiers of
Italy, will your courage or your perseverance fail?"
The picture he drew of the condition of the Army of Italy was
not overdrawn. The division commanders were petitioning for
shoes, at least for the men on outpost duty in the mountains.
Serurier reported that his men went on raiding expeditions without
orders and would rather raid than fight. One artillery company
had sold its cannon, for the purpose of getting food. Massena
reported his men dying of scurvy. Laharpe reported his men as
rebellious and saying they would fight in the same manner as they
were paid. Napoleon himself had to disband a battalion at Nice
that refused to march to the front until they were paid. Massena
reported the advance guard as in need of two thousand muskets.
Napoleon concealed neither from his soldiers nor from himself
the fact that the only hope for that army lay in an advance move-
ment. He praised the courage and patience of the men and
refrained from saying anything about their insubordination, for
he hoped to conquer that by supplying their physical wants.
He therefore spent the days preceding operations in personally
organizing pack trains to supply the men and in forwarding such
supplies as he had been able to procure.
He trusted to the reputation he had made at Toulon and in
1794, and to their desire to relieve their bodily wants, to carry
them forward when the time came.
The first town they captured was Dego which they promptly
began to loot; they were surprised by the Austrians and driven
from it. On the Corsaglia, Serurier's men captured the village of
St. Michael, and at once began to loot it; this compelled Serurier
to retreat. Before the battle of Mondovi was over, the French
troops began to loot and almost lost the battle.
After the battle of Mondovi, Napoleon issued an order on the
subject of looting, containing the following extracts: —
"The general in chief expresses to the army his satis-
faction with the bravery of his troops and their daily vic-
tories over their adversaries; but he witnesses with horror
the frightful pillage of the perverse men who join their
organization only after the battle and deliver themselves
to excesses which dishonor the army and the nation.
"Generals of division are authorized to relieve and to
send to Antibes in arrest the oflScers who have by their
example authorized the horrible pillage of the last few
"The generals of division are authorized, according
to circumstances, to have shot at once, officers or soldiers
who by their example incite others to pillage and by it
destroy discipline, thus bringing the army into disorder
and compromising its safety and glory."
"Every officer and non-commissioned officer who has
not followed his colors and is absent from a combat with-
out authority will be at once relieved, and his name will
be sent to his department in France, where he will be
posted as a coward."
"Every soldier who is twice convicted of skulking, will
be published in orders to his battalion."
"Every soldier deserting his colors will lose his senior-
ity and be placed at the foot of his company. If he
belongs to the grenadiers or carabiniers his name will be
erased from the company roll. Any soldier twice convicted
of cowardice will be degraded before his battalion and sent
beyond the Var to work on the roads during the cam-
"(Jenerals of division, generals of brigade and com-
manding oflScers will be held responsible for the execu-
tion of this order."
Notwithstanding this order, pillage and looting continued to
the end of the campaign of 1797, although it was much restricted
when the army was in Austria, where Napoleon wished to win
the good will of the inhabitants. Much of the looting was due to
the defective supply system of the army, which failed to furnish
rations, forage or pay with any regularity, and also to the policy
of the French government which not only requisitioned supplies
in Italy, but robbed its museums of its choicest works of art.
It is natural that the volunteers raised during the Reign of Terror
in France, when liberty and license were almost synonymous
terms, should be diflScult to bring under the restraint of military
order. In this respect the officers were as bad as the men, as
may be judged from the following extract: —
"Direct (Jeneral Lannes to depart two hours after the
receipt of this order to join the 19th demibrigade at
Borgo San Donino and march at its head. Order every
officer to march with his command, and the demibrigade
to keep closed up. All the officers must be with their
companies and not riding in carriages. Let the demi-
brigade have the appearance of belonging to the Army
of Italy, and not to the king of Persia.
"You will direct (Jeneral Lannes to relieve the first
officer who rides in a carriage and is not with his com-
pany, in accordance with this order.
"He will assemble the oflScers on his arrival and inform
them that I am displeased with their disorder on the
It must be remembered that this order was issued towards the
end of his operations and that General Lannes was one of his best
officers. It should be said however that the 19th demibrigade
had been doing fortress work until this time.
Napoleon was fortunate in his division commanders, as far as
military operations were concerned, but they did not all assist
him in establishing discipline. Of Massena he says, "He neglected
discipline, was careless about administration, and was not liked by
his men." As a matter of fact the company officers of the Army
of Rome, to which he was assigned after this campaign, and which
included his own division and one other, had a meeting in the
Pantheon and relieved him from command; a step which the
Directory felt compelled to approve.
Augereau was popular with his men, as he was a violent repub-
lican and treated his men as companions and equals. It is
doubtful if his command was well disciplined.
Serurier was an officer of the old army and never got over his
distrust of the volunteers, who could not be brought under the
same discipline as his old regulars. He was not therefore popular
with his command. Laharpe, being a strong republican and hav-
ing sacrificed his personal interests for France, was well liked.
Sauret and Vaubois had not the strength of character necessary
for disciplinarians of a volunteer command.
SOME OF THE CAUSES OF NAPOLEON'S SUCCESS.
1. The morale of his army. — ^Unlike Massena, Napoleon sought
the goodwill and confidence of his soldiers; and unlike Serurier
he trusted them. He sought to make them proud of their army,
of their military imit, and of their personal reputation.
On the 24th of April, 1796, immediately after the battle of
Mondovi, he sent his aide — ^Jimot — with twenty-one colors
captured in the battles of Montenotte, Millesimo, Dego and Mon-
dovi, to Paris, to present them with ceremony to the Directory.
In his letter of transmittal, to be read to the Directors, he says,
**The Army of Italy in presenting you with these twenty-one
colors, testimonials of its bravery, charges me to assure you of
its devotion to the constitution and to the magistrates (the
After each important victory a similar messenger was sent to
impress upon France and the world the feats of the Army of Italy
and to make every individual in that army proud of its name.
To make oflScers and soldiers take pride in their organizations
he had inscribed on the colors of the battalions the engagements
in which they took part; those in which they played an important
part, were inscribed in larger letters than the others. On the
colors of the 57th demibrigade he had inscribed, "The terrible
57th which nothing can resist"; on those of two demibrigades of
Vaubois' division, who had shown demoralization in the retreat
from Trent, he had inscribed, "This battalion is not of the Army
After each engagement he promptly made a report to Paris,
and in it mentioned the organizations that played an important
part in it and described the feats performed by them.
To encourage individual officers and men, promotion promptly
followed any conspicuous act. Rampon was appointed brevet
general four days after Montenotte and recommended for pro-
motion to the War Department. Lanusse and Lannes were pro-
moted immediately after the battle of Dego in which they had
played conspicuous parts.
After every engagement the commanding generals were directed
to report the names of officers and men who had distinguished
themselves, and they were promptly promoted if their previous
record had been good.
Besides promotion. Napoleon rewarded individuals by present-
ing officers with swords of honor and the men with muskets of
honor, and by making grants of money from that obtained by
requisition or by the sale of captured stores. A soldier who cap-
tured a horse from the enemy's army was allowed to turn it in and
draw its value in money.
2. His military instinct. — He had a faculty for correctly esti-
mating a military situation, whether it was limited to a battle-
field, or extended over a theatre of war.
While Massena was worrying over the exposed situation of the
brigade at Voltri in the early days of April 1796, it gave Napoleon
no concern. He realized at once that Beaulieu could not alone
advance on Savona along the coast; Savona was in danger only
from an attack via Montenotte or Cairo. He therefore sent Mar-
ihont to Voltri to estimate Beaulieu's strength and withdraw the
French brigade, while he remained near Savona to prepare his
The turning movement via Piacenza, the campaigns against
Wurmser and Alvinczi, all show this faculty of grasping the
weakness in an enemy's general dispositions. At Rivoli was
shown his ability to select the keypoint of a battlefield.
His mind acted as clearly when the enemy seemed to have
him at a disadvantage, as in the first campaigns of Wurmser and
Alvinczi, as it did when he had the enemy at a disadvantage, as
in his campaign against Beaulieu and his second campaign
He apparently failed to grasp the military situation in the sum-
mer of 1796, when he allowed Wurmser to surprise him. This was
due to the fact that he had probably been misinformed as to the
character of the coimtry west of Lake Garda, and because he was
obliged to go to Mantua and trust Massena to dispose his troops
to the best advantage to cover Mantua.
In his first campaign against Alvinczi, he was deceived as to
the character of Alvinczi's troops, by some prisoners taken by
Massena. The latter reported them as very inferior soldiers.
3. His ability to make prompt decisions and act in accordance
vrith them. — While many generals fail because they cannot cor-
rectly estimate a military situation, quite as many more fail
because they cannot decide to act promptly in accordance with
their estimate. Napoleon appreciated the value of time.
From the moment a campaign opened imtil it closed, the French
troops were in motion with a definite purpose, almost continu-
ously. As they realized that they were marching with an object,
they could accomplish feats that would have been impossible for
troops who had less confidence in their commander.
It was his ability to make prompt decisions and act upon them,
that enabled him to unite his divisions and attack those of his
enemy in detail.
Few generals, without a bridge train, would have conceived the
idea of crossing a river like the Po in hostile territory, or, if they
did conceive it, would have dared to risk laurels won at Monte-
notte, Dego, Millessimo and Mondovi, in such an operation.
Few generals would have been able to make up their minds to
abandon the siege of Mantua to attack Wurmser's field army, imtil
it was too late. Napoleon had had great diflSculty in getting
together enough siege artillery to attack the place and he knew
that if this artillery was now abandoned it could not be replaced.
He must then resort to investment and give the Austrians the
opportunity of sending relieving armies to raise the siege.
His decision to attack Alvinczi's communications via Arcole
was his most remarkable conception, and his decision to persist in
it notwithstanding his lack of success on the first day, by with-
drawing additional troops from Vaubois' depleted and demoralized
command, was even more remarkable. It is safe to say no other
general of history would have been capable of the conception and
execution of this plan.
4. His aggressiveness. — Throughout the campaign he showed
a desire to bring matters to an issue as soon as possible.
5. His indifference to physical danger. — He never hesitated to
expose himself if it seemed desirable.
He impressed his oflScers and men with the fact that honor and
promotion were only for those who led the way in an attack.
6. His calmness and self control in all situations. — He was never
duly elated by victory or unduly depressed by defeat. When he
was surrounded by a superior force of Austrians at Lonato in
August 1796, and the Austrian commander sent an aide with a
flag of truce to demand the surrender of the place, Napoleon had
the aide brought into his presence blindfolded and removed his
bandage in the presence of himself and staff. He then upbraided
him for his audacity in demanding the surrender of a general-in-
chief in the midst of his army, and sent him back with a demand
for the immediate surrender of the Austrian force. The Austrian
His calmness on the battlefield enabled him to observe the
progress of a battle and employ his troops to the best advantage.
It also enabled him to observe the conduct of individuals, to make
every officer and soldier feel that the eyes of the general command-
ing was upon him and he would be rewarded or punished, according
to his conduct. ^
7. His indefatigable energy. — ^Although slight in person. Napo-
leon was at this time in fine physical condition and could stand
both great mental and physical effort. His active mind allowed
no rest for himself, his generals, or his army while there remained
anything to be done. When not in active campaign he was con-
stantly employed on political missions and in reorganizing his
army. This energy caused him to weed out from his army every
officer who was sluggish, mentally or physically, and retain only
those who had his own activity.
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